2. Council Tax billed and received
Table 1: Council Tax billed and received
|Year to which bill refers||Net amount billed (£000s)||Amount recv'd (£000s) as at 31 March 2018||Amount uncollected (£000s) as at 31 March 2018||Percentage received as at 31 March 2018 a|
|Latest Year to 31 March 2018|
|1993-94 to 1995-96||2,798,273||2,699,869||98,403||96.5|
|Total for previous years|
|1993-94 to 2016-17||38,583,652||37,406,194||1,177,458||96.9|
|Total for all years to 31 March 2018|
|1993-94 to 2017-18||40,915,354||39,644,681||1,270,673||96.9|
Source: Information supplied by local authorities to Scottish Government on the Council Tax Receipts Return (CTRR).
a Years prior to 2017-18 are closer to final collection rates as local authorities have had longer to collect late payments. The 2017-18 collection rate is understandably lower since it is effectively the in-year collection rate (i.e. before any late payments).
- All figures are net of discounts (e.g. single person discount), exemptions and surcharges (although not all local authorities can exclude surcharges – see below). The figures are before any amounts written off for bad or doubtful debt. They reflect any correction to liabilities following billing.
- Figures for amounts billed and collected up to and including 1995-96 include Council Water Charges.
- Dumfries and Galloway has only provided figures from 1996-97 onwards.
- Local authorities are asked to exclude surcharges, although this is not always possible. For years prior to 1996-97, surcharges have been included for Aberdeenshire, Argyll and Bute, East Lothian, East Renfrewshire, Eilean Siar, Fife, North Ayrshire, Renfrewshire, Scottish Borders and Shetland Islands.
- Figures from 2005-06 onwards include additional amounts in respect of reduced Second Home/Long Term Empty property discounts.
In Table 1, the net Council Tax billed across Scotland and the amount received by 31 March 2018 are shown dating back to 1993-94 when Council Tax was introduced. The years 1993-94 to 1995-96 were before the re-organisation of local government in Scotland, and the data for these years are combined. The reorganisation had a number of implications for authorities, and so the figures prior to 1995-96 cannot be directly compared to those in later years under continuing authorities.
The net amount billed rose sharply from £1.002 billion in 1996-97 to £1.931 billion (in cash terms) in 2007-08, principally due to increases in Council Tax levels, but with an additional smaller increase due to growth in the tax base (mainly due to an increase in the number of dwellings). In 2007-08 the Scottish Government and COSLA agreed a freeze in the Council Tax, reflected in the data where the net amount billed flattens off between 2007-08 and 2016-17. The smaller increases in this period are due to growth in the tax base only, as a result of changes in the number and pattern of use of dwellings, as well as changes in household composition and awarding of Council Tax Benefit/Reduction. After 9 years of the Council Tax freeze, the Scottish Government secured the agreement of local authorities to cap locally determined council tax increases to 3 per cent in 2017-18. The increase in net amount billed between 2016-17 and 2017-18 will therefore reflect increased charges for properties in Bands E-H effective from April 2017, locally determined increases and any increase in the tax base. This pattern is shown in Chart 1.
Table 1 shows the amount and percentage collected as at 31 March 2018. For earlier years there has been a comparatively long time to collect any late payments, whereas for more recent years (particularly 2017-18), there has been less time available. This is the main reason why the 'percentage received at 31 March 2018' data show slightly lower percentages received for the later years. For the earlier years, the amount of Council Tax recovered reduces; hence, for these years, the percentages received are close to final collection rates. Excluding the effect on later years described above, no clear trend is seen in percentage received with all years up to 2016-17 showing percentages received of between 96.4 per cent and 97.2 per cent (including the combined period 1993-94 to 1995-96).
Chart 1: Net Council Tax billed each year (£ millions)
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