Friday, March 30, 2007

A non-cartoon related note: Edinburgh's Council Tax (a nice little earner)

This is the document (click for larger picture) that shows that my Council Tax bill has been too high since I moved here. It has now been lowered from band G to band F, backdated to the year 2000. Prior to this, I have now discovered that my old my flat was also incorrectly banded at band G, the same band as several Georgian houses in millionaire Heriot Row and the management flat at the Balmoral Hotel, and one band below The Edinburgh Club on Princes Street - but an obvious mistake, no doubt:>)

Now, I'd have to leave you to make the creative leap for yourself, but consider the following, several of my neighbours are still in the G band, whilst the rest of us (on this small exclusive estate) are now in band F, despite the fact that Edinburgh Council clearly now know that nobody here should be being charged that much. Over at nearby Fettes Rise, one poor punter is in band G, while all their neighbours are in band F, and in nearby Fettes village, a handful of people are blissfully unaware that they are paying more than their neighbours for the same services. This looks even more bizarre as a pattern when 1/2. 1/3, 1/5 and 1/6 are all paying band F, but the poor schlub in 1/4 is paying band G; which also means, by the way, that they are paying more for Water and Sewage than all their neighbours. The Council Tax rates for Ferry Road and Inverleith make for interesting reading too, as they range from A to G, which is one hell of a sweep, and deeply troubling.

Meanwhile, a man who recently bought a flat in Leith, where I was born, had his band reduced from; you guessed it G to F, and seems pretty pleased about that, and also seems blissfully unaware that using the correct criteria for rating Council Tax, how much the house in reasonable repair would have sold for in 1991, that in the early 1992 you couldn't give property in Leith away, so there's no way the flat he's in would have realised that price in 1991. In fact, according to research conducted on behalf of Bank of Scotland by NOP World in 2005, the average first time buyer in Scotland paid £40,918 for a property in 1993, and at that point in time, according to several articles in the Scotsman, Edinburgh ranked below several other Scottish cities in house price inflation.

Now, is it my imagination, or does the letter 'G' appear frequently in the preceding passages?

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