Torfaen Council say no to single occupancy council tax

In January Deb Smith from Torfaen Council successfully sorted out my council tax problem when I had received a summons and demand for money for unpaid council tax on a property I couldn’t even enter. That was good, well done Deb.

However, I have just received my bill for the next year April ’08 – April ’09. The bill is for something close to £1,000 as I’ve been charged the full amount, on a house that I’ve barely seen since August.

Now, surely I should able to get some sort of discount as I don’t live there? Well, yes. If there was no furniture at all in the house I could claim a 50% discount for several months, however there is a bed, a dining room table and the odd other piece… meaning I’m not eligible for that discount.

What about single occupancy? Surely I can at least claim that? I’m not living with my ex-wife anymore am I. Well, have a listen to this phone call I just made to someone who was extremely rude, suggesting I look in a dictionary for a definition of ‘living in a house’.

If the house was empty of furniture and no one was living in there I’d get a 50% discount. If I lived in the house on my own I’d get a 25% discount. If the house stands empty but has a table in it, I get charged the full amount… even though I’m not using any of the council’s services. No waste collection, no street lighting, no police force… nothing. The full amount.

I despair at this. I really do. Looks like I may have to move back into my house, using up the resources of Torfaen Council, just to claim a 25% discount on their council tax? How messed up is that?

Darren Jamieson, aka MrDaz, is the Technical Director and co-founder of Engage Web and has been working online in a career spanning two decades. His first website was built in 1998 and is still live today.

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