By Ted JeoryA FURIOUS chalet owner has launched a stinging attack on a "lily-livered" move to hike council tax on her seaside property.Dilly Meyer, from Wivenhoe, said Tendring District Council lacked the stomach to fight its residents' causes after it used new powers to raise more money on holiday homes.
By Ted Jeory
A FURIOUS chalet owner has launched a stinging attack on a "lily-livered" move to hike council tax on her seaside property.
Dilly Meyer, from Wivenhoe, said Tendring District Council lacked the stomach to fight its residents' causes after it used new powers to raise more money on holiday homes.
She claimed her two-bedroom "beach hut" in Wrabness was not substantially larger than a garden shed, but was attracting a higher rate of council tax.
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Under current arrangements, the band A property is eligible for a 50% discount as a second home, but new powers introduced by Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott mean councils can now collect up to 90% of the full charge.
Ms Meyer said: "The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister has given councils the discretion not to implement this increase for such properties, but Tendring has chosen to ignore this.
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"Its reason is that it will still have to find the additional income from other sources to pass on to Essex County Council.
"This is clearly nonsense. Why not fight it? Why take this out on us, rather than point put to Essex and the Government that this law is an ass?"
Ms Meyer, who bought her chalet, which does not have running water or power, 10 years ago, added: "For some hut owners, especially those who have inherited them over the generations, this massive increase in costs will inevitably cause great hardship and possibly force the sale of their only holiday opportunity."
Terry Allen, council leader, said Ms Meyer's property was a chalet, not a small beach hut. He added: "If it was a beach hut, then she would be paying non-domestic business rates and she would be eligible for a 50% discount.
"As she is able to stay overnight in her chalet, it's a second home and what's more, it's in a beautiful part of the country.
"It's only fair that second homeowners contribute to the area in which they choose to come and spend time. She's had a cheap holiday venue for years and now the real cost is coming in."