DOMINIC Cummings and his family ARE liable to pay council tax on a further two properties at their North-East farm, but charges will NOT be backdated to when they were built.
This means unpaid tax, of £30,000 to £50,000, on two homes built in breach of planning laws have been written off.
Nationally council tax debts have rocketed by 40% during the pandemic with up to a third of households in arrears. Homeowners in arrears can expect to be taken to court if they do not pay up.
New charges for the properties on the outskirts of Durham will come into effect from this month after an investigation by the Valuation Agency Office.
Durham County Councillor John Shuttleworth said: “If it was anybody else, they would be getting charged and it would be backdated, or they would be taken to court.
“It just proves there are two sets of rules, one for them and another for everyone else. It is not right.
“We have to abide by the law and it we don’t you get put in prison or you get fined. They are just above it.”
Dominic Cummings and his family are now liable for council tax on the cottage starting this month (October).
Mr Cummings, who built his cottage on the farm with his father in 2002, and was listed as one of the property owners, ignored lockdown guidance at the end of March.
They also drove to Barnard Castle beauty spot on his wife’s birthday to check his eyesight was good enough to drive back to London.
A planning investigation in June, launched after complaints from members of the public, revealed the lockdown cottage at North Lodge was in breach of legislation.
Durham County Council said there had been historic breaches but no enforcement action could be taken as it was out of time.
Council tax is now expected to be paid on Dominic Cummings’ band A cottage and his sister’s band C family home.
John Hewitt, corporate director of resources at Durham County Council, said: “The current single assessment will be replaced with three entries in the rating list going forward.
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