Valuation Tribunal Appeals

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  • #45389
    John Boxall
    Participant

    As discussed at Conference yesterday Peter asked us to raise issues so he could take them to his meeting with the Valuation Tribunal

    So……….

    1. Are the current proposals compliant with Article 6.1 of The European Convention

    2. Up to now, my experience is that we have very few 'CTB only' appeals – most if CTB is mentioned at all are HB & CTB  Up to now the CTB side of things has just 'come along for the ride' so to speak.  Now, however as far as I can see if we have a joint HB/CTS appeal, the CTS decision has to be appealed separatley – by a completley different mechanism, administred separatley, and potentially heard separatley – despite it potentially being based on the same 'facts' even if the rules may no longer be to the same effect.  In short it doubles the workload for the LA & means that TTS & the VT each have to administer the same appeal.

    My suggestion might be that TTS acts as an agent for the VT in administering the appeal, and simply get a VT president to attend in the case of joint HB/CTS appeals.

    3. As far as I understand it – and this goes back to 6.1 compliance, TTS decisions are binding, VT decisions are not in the same way

    Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen nineteen and six, result happiness. Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pounds ought and six, result misery. The blossom is blighted, the leaf is withered, the god of day goes down upon the dreary scene, and—and in short you are for ever floored.

    Wilkins Micawber, Ch12 David Copperfield

    #127737
    peterdelamothe
    Keymaster

    From conference note:

    “Appeals against Council Tax bills was one of the key issues at the conference and I am pleased to say that hbinfo will be working with VTS over the next few weeks and months on these. There are many thousands of Council Tax Benefit appeals every year (mostly “hidden” behind Housing Benefit appeals) particularly about income and capital issues. With this in mind, here are a few of the factors members need to take into account:

    There will be no “joint” appeals; Housing Benefit and CTS appeals will have to be dealt with separately at separate hearings

    There are powers to allow a First Tier Tribunal Judge to join a VT appeal but this is likely to be reserved to very complex cases in the short-term and then subject to resources

    The process is very different and local authorities will no longer be an “agency” of the DWP/ Tribunal in relation to CTS appeals

    There are no time limits for a person to appeal

    Discretionary decisions to refuse additional help will be appealable to the VTS (unlike DHP’s)

    VTS will hold a copy of every local scheme so there will be no need to send a copy with every appeal

    Use of other ways of working will be encouraged rather than just paper process systems

    As always, the key point is that CTS is NO LONGER a national benefit scheme.

    We anticipate that many HB/CTB appeals staff will take time to get used to the new processes especially as they will still be working on Housing Benefit appeals.

    There are so many issues to resolve. What if a claimant appeals on both HB and CTS and the different Tribunals reach different conclusions? Is a Upper Tribunal decision on Housing Benefit binding on a CTS matter? What is the status of CTB caselaw made prior to 1 April 2013? There are many others and we will try to obtain answers for members shortly.

    #127738
    peterdelamothe
    Keymaster

    John

    1 Good question

    2 I dont think LA workloads is going to be of interest to either body. Yes this will be a duplicate of effort but “not a national benefit”

    3 Dont know yet.

    #127743
    Julian Hobson
    Participant

    VT decisions are binding on the authority they relate to only, in the same way as First tier tribunal decisions. At the mo If a VT decision is challenged for CT purposes then that decision is binding on all LA’s as caselaw, but I can’t see how that might apply to CTR decisions in future even if the schemes are similar (unless they relate to the prescribed regs, or default regs IF the default regs are used because no scheme was made by the authority).

    #127744
    LouP
    Participant

    Can anyone confirm on what basis a discretionary award is appealable to the VT, even it sits outside of the LAs scheme?

    Is it that anything classed as a reduction to the liability falls under the VTs jurisdiction?

    #127745
    Julian Hobson
    Participant

    Yes to your last question. Appeals can be made in relation to any CT matter including the imposition of a penalty for failure to provide info under Schedule 3 to the act. This extends to Admin penalties under the Fraud regs here at reg 11 http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukdsi/2013/9780111533154/note but doesn’t extend to the penalties for simply failing to provide and incorrect statements under regs 12 and 13. This is a right mess.

    #127749
    LouP
    Participant

    Thanks Julian. 🙁

    #127807
    cnl
    Participant

    Can anyone advise me why Discretionary decisions for Council Tax Support will be appealable to te VTS unike DHP’s.

    #127809
    LouP
    Participant

    Lee Anderson confirmed yesterday that if the discretionary element of your scheme is not included within the main CTR scheme itself, it is not appealable.

    #127812
    benwat
    Participant

    Carol

    Section 16 of the LGFA 1992 – “A person may appeal to a valuation tribunal if he is aggrieved by…any calculation made by such an authority of an amount which he is liable to pay to the authority in respect of council tax”.

    Ben

    #127818
    Julian Hobson
    Participant

    bottom of page 7 and start of page 8. http://www.valuationtribunal.gov.uk/Libraries/VIP_Newsletters/VIP_-_Issue_07.sflb.ashx this is my view too. We could really do with something definitive.

    #127820
    benwat
    Participant

    That has always been my view as well. It has always seemed ridiculous to me that someone can appeal our decision to exercise discretion to the VT.

    We could really do with this being tested in the courts – who is going to be brave enough?!

    #127821
    John Boxall
    Participant

    [quote=benwat]That has always been my view as well. It has always seemed ridiculous to me that someone can appeal our decision to exercise discretion to the VT.

    We could really do with this being tested in the courts – who is going to be brave enough?![/quote]

    The bottom line is that it will cost a lot over a relativley small amount – so probably wont be

    Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen nineteen and six, result happiness. Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pounds ought and six, result misery. The blossom is blighted, the leaf is withered, the god of day goes down upon the dreary scene, and—and in short you are for ever floored.

    Wilkins Micawber, Ch12 David Copperfield

    #127823
    peterdelamothe
    Keymaster

    So mu current understanding is that any discretion mentioned in a local scheme (including write off policies) is going to be within the discretion of VT’s. Any general powers the Council has (Social Services have wide powers to help someone in hardship) will not be.

    I am minded that DCLG has not yet issued the appeals part of the regs (not due til February).

    #127824
    peterdelamothe
    Keymaster

    On the legal issue, this potentially impacts on millions of people so I dont doubt these issues will end up in Court. At the moment it affects just a handfull because of DHP’s and 100% CTB. All change in April!

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