A COUNCIL Tax row has broken out after families claim they are being charged £360 more than their neighbours.
People who moved into about 100 newly-built two bedroom homes in Pollokshaws, Glasgow, have been given a Band D rating, despite an adjacent block with similar properties only paying Band B.
Many of the householders came from flats being cleared for demolition. They were paying Band A. The new charge means a significant jump in their monthly bills, with some saying they can't afford it.
A Band B bill equals £1249 a year, while Band D is £1606 – an extra £357 a year, or an additional £35.70 if paid by 10 monthly direct debits.
The flats were built on land replacing demolished Shawbridge Street multi-storeys.
Residents say they are being banded unfairly in comparison to private sector flats nearby and that the council assessor has ignored the similar social housing properties the flats were built around.
Bill Carson, secretary of Pollokshaws Community Council, said: "They have been classed as Band D for a two-bedroom and E for a three-bedroom.
"This is meant to be affordable housing. People were pleased they could stay in the area as many had been here a long time, some for 40 years, but their bills have just increased too much.
"Some people have rejected a move because they could not afford the tax rise."
Isobel Gallacher, of Riverford Road, said "Our homes are banded on the same basis as private homes in Riverford Road round the corner. It is not a fair comparison."
Eddie Lee, also of Riverford Road, said: "The flats should be Band B. I don't mind paying what is justified but it is still a tenement building, we don't own it and it is the same as the older block, which is Band B."
Local MSP, James Dornan, has written to the City Assessor who sets the bandings, asking for it to be investigated.
Mr Dornan said: " It is difficult to understand why the properties have been classed in this way, given they are all in the social rented sector."
A council spokesman said: "All domestic properties are in Bands A to H depending on their open market value in April 1991.
"This is determined through a number of factors, including sales evidence, size, accommodation, quality and location.
"Residents wishing to appeal must do this within six months of becoming the property taxpayer."