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More Pitsea estate homeowners to challenge their council tax
4:30pm Wednesday 4th July 2012 in News
NEIGHBOURS on a Pitsea estate are set to try to claim back thousands of pounds in council tax after one woman won her fight with the authorities.
The Echo revealed yesterday Jennifer Cooper, 60, was refunded £1,204 after realising she had overpaid her council tax for 14 years.
She has now urged everyone on the Chalvedon estate, in Pitsea, to check and challenge their council tax bandings due to the differences among the virtually identical properties.
Miss Cooper, who lived in Moretons for 30 years before moving to Canvey with her partner Mick Valbonesi, has knocked on the doors of former neighbours to show them the paperwork and prove it can be done.
Sharon Hobbs, 54, who has lived in Moretons since 1980, currently lives in a C band property, but after speaking to Miss Cooper has put in a call to the Valuations Office Agency.
She said: “It’s crazy – some are Bs some are Cs – I’m going to challenge it.
“I had never questioned it before and didn’t know you could, but I’ve called them and I’ve told my neighbour too.
“We might not get as much as Jennifer, but that’s not the point – even if you don’t get a rebate, you would still pay less tax now if the band is reduced.”
Sophie Keeble, 21, lives in a one-bedroom flat in Moretons and pays £103 a month in council tax.
She said: “Even though my dad lives in a four-bedroom house in Basildon he only pays £107 or £108, so I pay quite a lot. I’ve never really questioned it, as I’ve never known anything different.
“I will definitely look into it if other people are getting money back, because it’s the council tax that gets you.”
Kenneth Fisher, 32, who has lived in Moretons for a year-and-a-half with his partner and three children, added: “A bill comes through and I pay it. I will check what we are though, and if it’s high I will query it.”
Basildon Council has already said it would not face problems if a string of rebate claims were received, as it only keeps about £16million of the £100million it collects in council tax every year.