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Councillor Alex Folkes embroiled in council tax questions... again?
1:10pm Saturday 21st June 2014 in News
Cornwall councillor Alex Folkes has found himself embroilled in yet another problem with unpaid council tax, after the authority found he should have been paying council tax for a former rental property.
It looks likely that Mr Folkes, who is now responsible for millions of pounds of taxpayers cash as the cabinet member for finance, will be told to pay a council tax bill running into hundreds of pounds.
The liability follows a row that has played out on social media with a former landlady over whether he gave formal notice that he was leaving when he moved out in January.
The landlady, Jacqui Baseley, claims that he is liable for unpaid rent, unpaid bills and council tax at the property he rented.
Following a Cornwall Council investigation looking into whether Mrs Baseley or Mr Folkes was laible for the unpaid council tax, the authority has decided Mr Folkes should be the one to pay.
A letter to Mrs Baseley said that following her request for confirmation that she is not liable for the council tax at the property at The Old Mill, Launceston, the authority can confirm that "on the basis of the information the council has seen... it is appropriate at the current time to treat Mr Folkes as liable for the council tax".
Mr Folkes has a right to appeal against the decision and if a tribunal finds in his favour, Mrs Beasley will be pursued for the council tax.
Mr Folkes said: "I understand from the council that they have received further information and they are still investigating the legal issues in this case. As such, they have not issued a bill.
"With no bill having been issued, neither myself nor my former landlord are currently liable and nobody is 'behind' with any payments.
"I firmly believe that a full and proper investigation will conclude that I am not liable for council tax. However, if I am found liable and receive a council tax bill then I will of course pay it immediately, whilst reserving the right to consider an appeal to the valuations tribunal which is the final arbiter on such matters."
Mr Folkes (Lib Dem, Launceston Central) was previously taken to court three times for unpaid council tax, the final time in July 2011 for arrears of £811.07.
Alex Folkes has not yet responded to a request for a statement.
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