Local government

Council Tax

Council tax is a local tax on domestic properties which helps pay for services like rubbish collection, roads, and street lighting. 

All households pay council tax unless exempt. 

Individual councils are responsible for: 

  • setting council tax rates in their areas 

  • collecting council tax 

  • applying any discounts 

  • deciding how to spend the money raised in its area 

The Scottish Government is responsible for making decisions about the overall council tax system and funding the Council Tax Reduction scheme. 

Council tax: what you pay 

The amount of council tax you pay depends on: 

  • the valuation band your property is in - you can find out the council tax band for your home or property at the Scottish Assessors website – bands range from A to H 

  • how much your local council charges for that band (councils determine the charge for band D properties and the charges for other bands are fixed in proportion to this – these proportions are set out in law and are the same for all councils 

  • any discounts or exemptions you or your property qualify for 

See your local council website for information about council tax charges, how to pay it, and how to apply for a discount or exemption. You can also find out more about council tax at the mygov.scot website

Council Tax Reduction Scheme 

Our means-tested Council Tax Reduction Scheme is supporting around 450,000 lower income households in Scotland. 

We publish statistics on council tax reductions

Go to your local council website to find out if you may be eligible for a council tax discount. 

Council tax on second homes 

From April 2024, councils will be allowed to charge more council tax on second homes.  

Councils will be able to: 

  • apply a discount of up to 50% 

  • apply the standard rate of council tax, or 

  • charge an increase of up to 100% 

The additional powers aim to increase available housing, and were developed alongside councils. It follows a public consultation on council tax for second and empty homes

There are around 24,200 second homes in Scotland. 

Council tax on empty homes 

Councils can offer a council tax discount of 10% to 50% for homes that are unoccupied for 6 to 12 months.  

After a year – or two years if the property is being actively marketed for sale or rent - councils can charge a council tax increase of up to 100%. 

From 1 April 2024, a 6 month ‘grace period’ may apply where a property has been bought by a new owner and renovations or repairs are being carried out.   

This is to encourage owners to bring empty homes back into use. 

Check your local council website for more information. 

Fairer council tax consultation 

In 2023 we consulted on whether people living in higher band properties should pay more council tax. This would involve changing the current proportions between council tax bands, known as multipliers. 

Ministers carefully considered the responses to the fairer council tax consultation and decided that they would not change the council tax multipliers in 2024 to 2025. 

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