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Council Tax

What is council tax?

Council Tax is a local tax, with annual receipts of around £2 billion contributing directly to the funding of local services in Scotland.  The policy and legislative framework is the responsibility of the Scottish Government and Parliament, but individual Councils set the tax rate as well as collecting and administering the tax.  

How is council tax calculated?

In Scotland, all residential properties are assigned to one of eight bands (from A to H), based upon the value of that property at 1991 prices.  Each Council determines the charge for Band D properties in their local authority area, with the tax for properties in all other bands being a proportion, fixed in law, of that Band D charge.

How is council tax changing?

Building on the recommendations of the independent, cross party Commission on Local Tax Reform which reported in December 2015, the Scottish Parliament passed legislation that amends, from April 2017, the way Council Tax on properties in Bands E, F, G and H is calculated.  The tax for these properties will now be a higher percentage of the Band D rate than previously, addressing a fundamental conclusion of the Commission on Local Tax Reform that the original Council Tax system was not progressive.

The table below shows the proportion of the Band D rate each band will pay from April 2017.

Band

Value of property in pounds (as at 1991)

Council Tax as Percentage of Band D charge (before 1 April 2017)

Council Tax as Percentage of Band D charge (from 1 April 2017)

A

Up to 27,000

67%

67%

B

27,001 to 35,000

78%

78%

C

35,001 to 45,000

89%

89%

D

45,001 to 58,000

100%

100%

E

58,001 to 80,000

122%

131%

F

80,001 to 106,000

144%

163%

G

106,001 to 212,000

167%

196%

H

212,001 and over

200%

245%

 

Can I get help with paying my council tax?

Council Tax on a property may be subject to a discount depending on the circumstances of the household. Single person households, disabled persons and students are some of the groups which may be eligible for a discount.

The Council Tax Reduction Scheme reduces a household’s Council Tax liability depending on income, need and circumstances. This important scheme ensures the tax liability on a residential property is linked to the ability to pay. You should contact  the revenue and benefits department in your local authority if you think you may be eligible.

Additionally, lower income households in a property in Band E, F, G or H may be entitled to claim an exemption from the increase to their Council Tax arising from the legislation approved by Parliament. This new relief is an extension of the existing Council Tax Reduction Scheme and is aimed at households whose net income is below the median for their household type – £16,750 for single person households and £25,000 for others.

Entitlement is dependent on a number of factors, including any capital held and the composition of the household and you should contact the revenue and benefits department in your local authority if you think you may be eligible.

Where can I find out more information?

Your local authority will be able to provide more information about council tax rates and discounts. You can also find out more in our online leaflets

How can I make a complaint?

Councils are accountable to their local electorates for the work they do. If you are not happy with the standard of service you have received, you can make a complaint.