Polmont neighbours waiting for cash to roll in

Alex and Mairi Hunter are celebrating their windfall
Alex and Mairi Hunter are celebrating their windfall

Residents are in for a Christmas windfall after a mystery neighbour challenged their council tax banding.

Not only will they have their homes placed in a lower band, they are also going to get the extra money they have paid in the last 19 years returned to them.

The Assessor for Central Scotland has confirmed 39 properties in Tolsta Crescent, Polmont, were inaccurately placed in council tax band C instead of B in April 1991.

Falkirk Council is now amending the bandings and is refunding residents 19 years’ money. The assessors have agreed to correct their records from April 1, 1993.

As well as a refund of around £2000, the home-owners will not have to pay council tax for the next five months.

Diane Thomson, who has lived in the street for 27 years, believes this will spark interest within other communities about their council tax banding.

Mrs Thomson said: “I would like to thank whoever put this appeal forward. If it wasn’t for them we would never have got this money back and could still be getting overcharged.”

Retired couple Mairi and Alex Hunter, residents of the street for 30 years, are also delighted about the refund.

Alex (64), a former ICI worker, and Mairi (60), who worked at Asda in Grangemouth are looking forward to having a little bit extra to spend on their interests of horses and canoeing.

Mairi said: “It’s a lovely surprise for us at Christmas time.”

It’s not only current residents who are going to benefit. And Falkirk Council is urging anyone directly affected to contact them to ensure accuracy of contact details.

Paul Ferguson, Falkirk Council’s revenues manager: “Credit balance will be refunded as soon as possible to those who are currently still living in the street and to those who are affected but now live elsewhere. We will be trying our very best to track down everyone, even if they have moved out of the Falkirk area.

“Phone calls will happily be taken from any residents that have lived in Tolsta Crescent previously and believe they are affected by this appeal.”

He added that the repayment would have come through earlier but for problems being experienced because a new system is being put in place. Payments should come through by mid-December.

Anyone with concerns about their area valuation should contact the Assessor for Central Scotland, who is responsible for determining bandings.

However, a spokesman said Falkirk Council has been assured there are currently no other problems in the Falkirk area and there shouldn’t be in the foreseeable future.

Anyone directly affected by this revision should contact Falkirk Council finance department on (01324) 506999 or e-mail revenues1@falkirk.gov.uk.