Lets start with a very simple question. Would you like the opportunity not to pay Council Tax? We think we know what the answer is. Is it yes?, Of course it is.
Shepwayvox has been made aware that Mr Michael Stainer (below) has a full time electrician on his books and that he resides at The Studio flat, behind the back of the ballroom stage, at The Grand.
We have been made aware this flat has been sitting empty prior to his employee taking residence a little over six months ago. We know, because our public face checked, that The Studio is not on the electoral register nor on the Valuation Office Register.
Now, not to inform the Valuation Office, is a criminal offence as is not paying your Council Tax when you know you must.
Under s8 The Council Tax (Administration and Enforcement) Regulations 1992,
“A billing authority shall, as regards each financial year commencing with the financial year beginning on 1st April 1993, take reasonable steps to ascertain whether any dwellings in its area will be or were exempt dwellings for any period during the year.”
The Grand (below) and the Studio (flat) have been there a long time. So how is it possible for SDC to have “taken reasonable steps” when they are not billing this address; which is occupied. Also it must be remembered if the flat is empty, the Council still has to be paid.
We know Mr Stainer has little or no money, but that does NOT excuse him; when the flat is empty to paying Council Tax. It would appear that the SDC have failed to take reasonable steps.
Our public face visited SDC earlier today and looked at the electoral register and found no sign of the Studio on the Electoral Roll. Our Public face informed the SDC officer that the flat existed and informed them that the Studio was occupied. The SDC Officer informed our public face that letters had been sent to all empty properties across the district recently. However, if the Valuation do not have the address, nor SDC’s council tax department, how can SDC send a letter to address they know nothing about? And how can they collect council tax if they don’t know the Studio flat exists?
So what will SDC do? Nothing? Or will they investigate and recover the council tax owed on the Studio flat at the Grand occupied by a Grand Employee? And will SDC attempt to recover the Council tax when the property was empty?
If Mr Stainer is to be made an exception, it is the exception which makes the rule and perhaps we all might be eligible for non-payment of Council Tax. If we all don’t tell the council, we or our property exists, might we like Mr Stainer and his employee get away with non-payment of our Council Tax?
How long do you think we would all get away with that? As long as Mr Stainer and his employee?