Appeals are settled amicably between the Assessor and the Ratepayer, Council Tax payer or appointed agent. However, if a settlement cannot be achieved the appeal is heard by an independent Valuation Appeal Committee. Members are drawn from an Appeal Panel appointed by the Sheriff Principal and are independent of the Assessor, local council or Valuation Joint Board.
Committees are assisted by a Secretary, usually a qualified solicitor (also appointed by the Sheriff) who provides advice on matters such as the law or procedure, but who takes no part in the decision making process.
The proceedings are relatively informal, but witnesses can be called and are normally placed on oath by the Committee Chairman or Secretary. A Committee usually comprises between 3 and 7 members. Sometimes the Assessor will conduct his own case or be represented by a senior member of his staff and at other times he will be represented by an Advocate or Counsel. Ratepayers and Council Tax payers are entitled to appear in person to present their own case or can be legally represented. A surveyor, family member or friend can also appear on behalf of the appellant.
The Chairman is responsible for the conduct of the hearing and will give advice and guidance as to the procedure to be followed at any time during the hearing.
There are statutory regulations which stipulate timetables in relation to the exchange of information prior to a hearing and the minimum amount of notice to be given of the date of a hearing. These vary depending upon whether the hearing relates to Rating Appeals or Council Tax Appeals.
The members of the Tayside Valuation Appeal Panel have been arranged into 3 Valuation Appeal Committees, one for each of the local authority areas in Tayside. Contact details of the Secretaries of these committees are:-