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FIGURES SHOW INCREASE IN COLLECTION OF COUNCIL TAX

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Figures released by the Executive today reveal Scottish councils collected an estimated 93.3 per cent of their 2005...
Figures released by the Executive today reveal Scottish councils collected an estimated 93.3 per cent of their 2005-06 council tax, a 0.6 per cent increase on the previous year.

The provisional figures also show 29 out of 32 councils have improved their in-year council tax collection rates in 2005-06.

Statistical Bulletin

Minister for finance and public service reform Tom McCabe said:

'These figures are a step in the right direction but there is still room for improvement in council tax collection.

'The vast majority of councils have increased their collection rates this year, leading to an increased average collection rate of 93.3 per cent in 2005-06, an increase of 0.6 per cent on last year.

'This slight improvement in collection rates, which represents an additional£10.735m on the previous year, signals a more even loading on local taxpayers. It is not right to expect the majority of taxpayers to continue to subsidise the minority who do not pay their share.

'At the same time as wishing to drive up collection rates, we are determined to ensure that the appropriate advice and assistance is given to anyone who is experiencing difficulties with payments.'

Council Tax Collection Statistics 206

This statistical publication notice provides results on the collection of Council Tax by Scottish local authorities for 2005-06 and previous years. The key points are:

In 2005-06, for Scotland as a whole, the total amount of Council Tax billed (excluding Council Tax Benefit) was£1.780bn. Of this total,£1.661bn was collected by 31 March 2006.

This represents a provisional Scotland total in-year CT collection rate for 2005-06 of 93.3 per cent, a 0.6 percentage point increase from the previous year (see table 2).

Overall, since 1993-94, the total amount of Council Tax billed in Scotland was£16.635bn, of which£15.844bn, or 95.2 per cent, was collected by 31 March 2006.

Provisional in-year CT collection rates for 2005-06 range from a low of 86.1 per cent in Glasgow, to a high of 97.6 per cent in Orkney.

These provisional figures suggest that 29 out of 32 councils have improved their in-year CT collection rate in 2005-06. Only Argyll & Bute (-0.9 percentage points), Dumfries & Galloway (-0.5 percentage points) and Midlothian (no change) have not improved upon the 2004-05 figures published by Audit Scotland.

The in-year Council Tax collection rate is a Statutory Performance Indicator. The figures for 2005-06 in this Statistics Publication Notice are provisional, pre-audit estimates. Audited figures will be published by Audit Scotland in due course.

1. DATA SOURCES

1.1. The Scottish Executive's Council Tax, Non-Domestic Rates and Community Charge Receipts Return (CTRR) collects data from Local Authorities on the total amounts of Council Tax billed and the total amounts collected for all years from 1993-94 to date, and is the source of all the data in Tables 1 to5, with the exception of the in-year collection rates in Table 2 for 1998-99 to 2004-05. The CTRR data is collected after the end of the financial year, but before audit and is therefore provisional.

1.2. The in-year collection rates in Table 2 for 1998-99 to 2004-05 are the published Statutory Performance Indicators produced by Audit Scotland. The 2005-06 in-year collection rates should be treated as provisional figures, with final audited figures for 2005-06 to be published by Audit Scotland.

2. DATA DEFINITIONS

2.1. All data are based on the actual amounts received from taxpayers, and are net of all discounts (e.g. 25 per cent single person discount) and exemptions. Surcharges are also excluded where possible, although some councils cannot do this (see footnotes in tables for details).

2.2. The figures exclude Council Tax Benefit, are before any amounts written off for bad or doubtful debt, and reflect any correction to liabilities made after billing.

2.3. Figures from 1993-94 to 1995-96 include the amounts billed and collected for Council Water Charges.

Further information:

http:www.scotland.gov.uk/Publications/2006/07/07153735/0

Local Government Finance Statistics Website: http:www.scotland.gov.uk/stats/lgfstats

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