Fairer Council Tax: consultation

The Scottish Government and COSLA (on behalf of local government) are inviting responses to this consultation on a fairer council tax system, which concerns the Council Tax charges (also referred to as multipliers) for properties in valuation Bands E to H.

Background - The Present Council Tax System

Council Tax is a local tax, set and administered by each council and this year is expected to contribute around £2.9 billion to the funding of local public services in Scotland. Almost every household receives a Council Tax Bill, although many benefit from a discount or reduction to that Bill. This includes around 380,660 households (around 15% of all households) which qualify for the Council Tax Reduction (CTR) scheme and have a Council Tax bill that is reduced to zero.

The present Council Tax system was introduced in 1993 by the then UK Government. Since the creation of the Scottish Parliament in May 1999, the policy and legislative framework that defines the tax has been wholly devolved to the Scottish Parliament. However, Council Tax is a local tax, and the administration of the system resides with councils.

Council Tax is paid by the occupiers of domestic properties, with the amount due to be paid depending on:

  • the valuation band the property is in,
  • the Band D tax rate set by the local authority,
  • any discounts (such as the 25% single person discount), and
  • exemptions (such as for properties wholly occupied by students) or reductions (the Council Tax Reduction Scheme being the most significant).

This consultation asks for your views on a number of questions about the relationship between the valuation band a property is in, and the tax rate set by the council for their local area. Each council determines the tax for Band D properties. The charges for other property bands (A to C and E to H) are proportions of the Band D charge. For instance, a Band A property may be charged approximately two-thirds of the Band D property tax, while a Band G property might face a charge approximately double that of a Band D property. These proportions, referred to as 'multipliers,' are set in law and are the same for all Scottish council areas.

The table below presents current average Council Tax charges in Scotland, and shows the rate for each band as a proportion of the rates applicable to Band D properties (the 'multipliers').

Table 1: Average Scottish Council Tax rates for 2023-24, expressed as a charge and as a proportion of the rate for Band D
  Band A Band B Band C Band D Band E Band F Band G Band H
Scotland Average Council Tax Charge 2023-24 £944 £1,102 £1,259 £1,417 £1,861 £2,302 £2,774 £3,470
Council Tax charges as a proportion of the charge for a property in Band D 0.67 0.78 0.89 1.00 1.31 1.63 1.96 2.45

These multipliers were changed from April 2017, increasing the Council Tax for around 25% of properties.


Email: ctconsultation@gov.scot

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