Scots council tax collection at 95%

Banknotes Statisticians said there had been a steady improvement in collection rates

Related Stories

Council tax collection rates in Scotland in the last year came in at 95%, generating more than £2bn to fund local services.

Collection rates across the 32 local authorities for 2013-14 ranged from 92.7% to 97.8%, according to official, government-published figures.

There has been a steady improvement in collection rates since the Scottish Parliament was established.

The SNP froze council tax levels after it came to power in 2007.

The official 2013-14 figures said:

  • In Scotland, the total amount of council tax billed was £2.040bn, of which £1.942bn was collected by 31 March 2014.
  • This gave a provisional in-year collection rate of 95.2% - the same rate as the audited figure from the previous year.
  • Collection rates across the 32 councils ranged from 92.7% to 97.8%.
  • Collection rates have improved steadily from 1998-99, when the figure was 87.2%.
line break

Analysis by Jamie McIvor, BBC Scotland local government correspondent

The council tax collection rate has improved substantially in recent years - but further significant improvements will be hard.

In 1996 the collection rate in Glasgow was just 73%. As recently as 2003, it was 85%. Now at 93.9% it is only slightly below the national average and in line with many other authorities.

One reason for the improvement may be improvements in collection methods, such as direct debits, and other efforts to try to make it easier to pay - for instance a choice over whether to pay over 10 or 12 months each year.

Another may be that politically-motivated non-payment associated with protests against the poll tax - a legacy which impacted on collection rates for some time - may have all-but died out.

With pressure on local authority finances continuing, maximising the payment rate is more important than ever.

The lowest collection rate is in Dundee - 92.7% - and the highest is in Stirling - 97.7%.

As a general rule, the more rural or more prosperous an area is the higher the collection rate.

But in urban areas, a greater proportion of the population may be transient or short-term - adding to the difficulties collecting council tax.

Councils are always keen to stress that anyone who falls into genuine council tax arrears should not be afraid to speak to them. They say they would always try to help arrange a programme to help clear the debt and would not act against someone in hardship who was trying to clear their arrears.

line break

More on This Story

Related Stories

More Scotland politics stories


Scotland Live

    08:32: Read all about it...

    The aftermath of the referendum continues to dominate the agenda in this morning's papers.

    Scotland's newspapers

    "Honour the Vow" is the headline in the Daily Record, which urges the Westminster parties to keep their promise of new powers for the Scottish Parliament.

    Labour and the Conservatives are "at loggerheads" over the issue, according to The Scotsman, while The Times says Mr Brown is "clearly furious" at the Tory proposals.

    Read our full newspaper review here.

    08:27: Louise White Presenter, Morning Call

    Join me at 08:50 when we'll be talking about the backlash over plans to chase voters who registered for the referendum for unpaid council tax.

    Elsewhere, we'll be asking whether GPs should be open seven days a week.

    Lines are open now. Call 0500 929500, email or text 80205.

    Louise White
    08:20: Constance eyes SNP deputy leader role

    Scottish Youth Employment Secretary Angela Constance is launching her bid to be SNP deputy leader, with a focus on making the case for independence.

    The MSP will formally announce she is running at an event in her Almond Valley constituency.

    She will compete against Transport Minister Keith Brown and SNP Treasury spokesman Stewart Hosie for the job.

    Scottish Youth Employment Secretary Angela Constance

    Ms Constance, a member of the Scottish cabinet who is also responsible for training and women's employment, has been an MSP since 2007.

    The SNP's new leadership team will be decided in a vote by party members and announced in November at the SNP conference in Perth.

    08:10: Referendum 'boos'

    A number of staff at a Scottish independence referendum count were replaced during the proceedings because of their behaviour.

    A group of four people were relieved of their duties at Highland Council's count in Dingwall on 18 September following complaints.

    It was understood some were seen giving the thumbs up and high-fiving each other when "Yes" votes were opened.

    Votes being counted at the Scottish referendum

    It was claimed boos were heard when "No" votes were opened.

    Highland Council has confirmed it received complaints during the count.

    08:04: Weather update BBC Scotland Weather Latest

    Morning all - Gillian with you again. It'll brighten up nicely today, but feeling much fresher than yesterday, 14-16C, rather than 18-21C. After a damp start, rain will become confined to the Borders by afternoon, plenty of sunshine elsewhere. Just a few showers in the windy north west.

    08:02: MoD jobs boost

    The Ministry of Defence has awarded £3.2bn of contracts to support the management of UK naval bases and says 7,500 jobs will be secured.

    The money will also be used to maintain and repair the Royal Navy's fleet of warships and submarines.


    Defence Secretary Michael Fallon said the investment at Faslane, Devonport and Portsmouth naval bases was the "second biggest defence contract placed by this government".

    08:00: Welcome Thomas McGuigan BBC Scotland News

    Good morning and welcome to Scotland Live, as we bring you the latest news, sport, travel and weather between now and 18:00.



BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.