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BYERS SAYS COUNCILS MUST DO BETTER AT COUNCIL TAX COLLECTION

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Stephen Byers, Secretary of State, and the Local Government ...
Stephen Byers, Secretary of State, and the Local Government
Association today announced a joint initiative to help poorly
performing councils improve council tax collection rates. The
initiative follows the publication of council tax collection figures
for 2000/2001.
Figures released today show that English local authorities had
collected£11.89bn in council taxes for 2000/2001 by the end of
March. This represents 95.8% of the£12.41bn collectable.
This is an increase of 0.2% on the previous year but it still means
that over£500m had not been collected by the end of March.
Mr Byers said:
'Overall, council tax collection had improved slightly and many
councils are making a great effort. But half a billion pounds wasn't
collected last year - that's money that could have been spent on
local services. I've looked at the figures and I believe some
councils could do a lot more to improve their collection performance.
That's why I will be asking the worst collectors for an explanation
of their bad performance.'
Mr Byers has also asked the Local Government Association (LGA) to
help councils tackle the problem. He said:
'I warmly welcome the willingness of the LGA to work with us on this,
by encouraging some of the better collectors to help the worst ones,
sharing knowledge and best practice.'
Sir Jeremy Beecham, Chairman of the LGA, said:
'Overall, councils have continued to improve their collection rates
since the disastrous experiment with poll tax. It is clear some
authorities face particular difficulties and we need to understand
the reasons why. The LGA will be working with Government and
authorities with successful collection records to help less
successful billing authorities to improve their collection rates.'
In addition, collection rates for non-domestic rates (business rates)
were released today. Figures show that£13.25bn in non-domestic
rates for 2000/2001 had been collected by the end of March. This
represents 97.4% of the£13.61bn collectable, also an
improvement of 0.2% on last year.
The statistics attached below show the council tax and non-domestic
rates collection figures of each local authority for the financial
years 1999/2000 and 2000/2001. Separate tables highlight the twenty
highest and lowest council tax collection rates in 2000/01, and the
twenty biggest increases and decreases compared with 1999/2000.
NOTES
Figures showing council tax and non-domestic rates collection are
attached as follows:
* Column 1 of Table 1 gives the amount received in respect of
2000/2001 council taxes as a percentage of the net collectable debit
in respect of 2000/2001 council taxes (i.e. the income authorities
would collect if everyone liable paid, net of estimated receipts of
council tax benefit).
* Column 2 of Table 1 gives the amount received in respect of
1999/2000 council tax as a percentage of the net collectable debit in
respect of 1999/2000 council tax.
* Column 3 of Table 1 gives the amount received from non-domestic
ratepayers as a percentage of the net collectable debit in respect of
2000/2001 non domestic rates (i.e. the income authorities would
collect if everyone liable paid).
* Column 4 of Table 1 gives the amount received from the non-domestic
ratepayers as a percentage of the net collectable debit in respect of
1999/2000 non-domestic rates.
* A similar press release was issued on 8 June 2000, showing council
tax and non-domestic rates collection rates for 1999/2000 and
1998/1999. Since then, several authorities have revised their
collection rate figures for 1999/2000. This news release gives the
revised figures for 1999/2000.
* Table 2 shows the 20 highest council tax collection rates in
England for 2000/2001.
* Table 3 shows the 20 lowest council tax collection rates in England
for 2000/2001.
* Table 4 shows the 20 authorities whose council tax collection rates
for 2000/2001 have increased the most compared with 1999/2000.
* Table 5 gives details of the 20 authorities whose council tax
collection rates for 2000/2001 have decreased the most compared with
1999/2000.
All 354 English billing authorities provided returns for 2000/2001.
If you would like a copy of the tables, please visit the DTLR website.
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