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Valuation Appeal Committee - Council Tax

What is it?

The Valuation Appeal Committee comprises a panel of lay men and women who sit to decide appeals against the bands which the Assessor has placed on properties in their area. They are not connected in any way with the Assessor, nor with the Council, although for reasons of administrative convenience they usually sit in property owned by the Council. There are no particular qualifications required of members of the Committee, but its Secretary is a solicitor, who attends to correspondence and advises the Committee on any legal matters. He takes no part, however, in reaching the Committee's decision.

How will my proposal reach the Committee?

If you and the Assessor do not agree about your proposal, it will be passed to the Committee as an appeal. This will happen automatically if you have not reached agreement within 6 months of the lodging of your proposal.

What will happen then?

Once a date has been set for the hearing of your appeal, you will be notified of the date, time and place of the Hearing. You will be given at least 5 weeks' notice. If the date is not suitable for you, you can write to the Secretary of the Committee, who may arrange a different day, if the Committee feels your reason for asking is reasonable.

What happens at the Hearing?

You may appear before the Committee in person, or you may be represented by someone else. The Hearing is usually in public, and the Assessor or a member of his staff will attend.

The Committee Chairperson will ask if you are to give evidence - if so, you may be put on oath. If you are asking anyone else to support your case, they may also be put on oath. Your evidence should be confined to the facts which you wish to bring out. You may also submit photographs or information about houses you feel are comparable with yours, or whose bandings suggest that your own is unfair. After you have given your evidence, the Assessor and any member of the Committee may ask questions about it. The Assessor or his representative will then give his evidence, and you will be able to ask questions about it.

Once all the evidence has been given, the Committee will consider its decision, which it does in private. Usually, you will be informed of the decision at the end of the Hearing, or at an adjourned Hearing. You will also be sent a written statement of the decision, and the Committee's reasons for reaching it.

What if I disagree with the Committee's decision?

The Committee's decision is final, except for your right to appeal to the Court of Session on a point of law. You would be advised to seek legal advice before undertaking this action.



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