A HOMEOWNER was stunned to find he had been overcharged by his local council by up to £11,000 for nearly 20 years.
Brian Reichel, 64, was unknowingly billed the equivalent of council tax as a renter rather than an owner-occupier.
It was only when stories surfaced of other homeowners being in the wrong category that he reviewed his own situation and contacted the Gold Coast Council in Australia.
Then he found that his category had not been changed from Housing 2 to Housing 1.
“It used to be a rental, so I contacted Gold Coast City Council and let them know I’m the homeowner and will be living in it,” he told 7News
“Nineteen years later I found they were stuffed and I paid 40 percent more.”
He estimates he has between £6,000 and £10,000 left – and wants to pay it back with interest.
“If it were reversed now, they would want their money back,” he said.
“I went through a very difficult time financially about six years ago when I was left to my bare bones.
“In the meantime, I’m spending all this money. Be fair to us.”
The Gold Coast Council is currently reviewing its fares after more than 100 complaints from residents saying they are in the wrong fare category.
Mayor Tom Tate urged “anyone who has just bought a property to check the price list”.
He said the property “may have previously been an investment property and now you’ve become a primary residence”.
“Check your bills, all bills,” he said.
It comes after it was revealed 80 households in one area are owing thousands of pounds back after overpaying their council tax.
These overpayments often result from homes that are in the wrong council tax bracket.
This resulted from a review conducted by the local appraisal authority which found that far too many properties were in the wrong municipality tax brackets.
https://www.the-sun.com/news/6188304/overcharged-tax-blunder-no-idea-years/ I was overcharged £11,000 on the council tax bill due to a massive mistake, but I had no idea for 19 YEARS