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Householders in Wales will soon receive notification of their new band for council tax from the Valuation Office Ag...
Householders in Wales will soon receive notification of their new band for council tax from the Valuation Office Agency (VOA), an executive agency of the Inland Revenue. Throughout September 2004, the VOA will issue council taxpayers with a 'notice', a letter that states their previous and new band, together with an explanatory leaflet from the Welsh Assembly Government.

Taxpayers are invited to contact the VOA if they have any queries regarding their new band. From 1 September 2004, a dedicated VOA helpline will be open for enquiries about the new council tax bands - 0845 600 1748 (calls charged at local rate). Lines will be open from 08:30 to 17:00 Monday to Friday and will be staffed by fully trained VOA employees able to answer queries related to banding and the revaluation process. Welsh speaking staff will also be available to take calls and the VOA will be offering translation facilities for council taxpayers who have queries but do not have English as their first language. Alternatively, council taxpayers can write to, email or visit their local Valuation Office to discuss their query; contact details will be on the notice letter.

The VOA is responsible for assessing all 1.3 million domestic properties in Wales and placing them in the appropriate banding for council tax purposes. The VOA has a legal duty to review property values to bring them into line with changes in the property market and ensure information is up to date, an exercise known as 'revaluation'. This is the first revaluation of domestic property in Wales since council tax was introduced in 1993.

The VOA takes account of the size, age, character and locality of the property and uses sales price data from around the valuation date to arrive at the correct band. The valuation date is set two years prior to the date the revaluation comes into effect. Because the new bands come into effect on 1 April 2005, the valuation date is 1 April 2003. The set valuation date ensures that the value of all properties is assessed as at a fixed point in time, making it a fair system for everyone.

Local authorities will use the new band to calculate council tax bills for the year 2005/06 and bills will be issued between February and April 2005. Householders who are moving house before 1 April 2005 are asked to pass on the notice letter stating the new band to the new occupier.

Mary Hardman, chief valuer for Wales, adds, 'Once taxpayers receive notification of their new band, we are encouraging them to contact us early if they have queries so that we can iron out any discrepancies and arrive at a solution together. It is important that the new valuation lists, that show the band for all domestic properties in Wales, are as accurate as possible and we can only achieve this by working with taxpayers. We have put in place a number of different ways for taxpayers to contact us - by telephone, post or e-mail - so they can choose whichever is most convenient for them.'


Distribution of Notices by the VOA

The schedule of delivery of notices is based on local authority area and is outlined below.

Week commencing 31/08/2004 - Local Authorities:



Powys 2*

Powys 3*


Carmarthen 3*



Week commencing 06/09/2004 - Local Authorities:



Blaeneau Gwent



Powys 1*

Week commencing 13/09/2004 - Local Authorities:

Vale of Glam

Carmarthen 1*

Carmarthen 2*

Neath and Port Talbot




Week commencing 20/09/2004 - Local Authorities:


Rhondda Cynon Taf

Merthyr Tydfil



* Powys 1 - Welshpool and surrounding areas - former county of Montgomeryshire

* Powys 2 - Llandrindod Wells and surrounding areas - former county of Radnor

* Powys 3 - Brecon Town and outlying areas - former county of Brecon

* Carmarthen 1 - Carmarthen and district - former county of Carmarthenshire

* Carmarthen 2 - Ammanford and district - former Dinefwr Borough Council

* Carmarthen 3 - Llanelli and district - former Llanelli Borough Council

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