A Holyrood Committee examining legislation to reform Council Tax in Scotland is seeking the views of people across Scotland on the proposed changes.
The Scottish Government published its proposals for reform of the Council Tax in March 2016. These proposals came after the publication of the report of the Commission on Council Tax Reform. Legislation was laid before Holyrood on Wednesday.
The Local Government and Communities Committee is looking at what support there is for the Scottish Government’s plans on Council Tax. It is also asking people to comment on:
- To what extent will the Government‘s proposed reforms make the system of Council Tax fairer?
- To what extent will the changes be straightforward for local authorities to implement?
The main area of proposed reform in the legislation is to increase the ratios of the upper bands (E-H) relative to Band D. This will mean that bills for Band E will increase by 7.5%, Band F by 12.5%, Band G by 17.5% and Band H by 22.5%.
Bob Doris MSP, Convener of the Local Government and Communities Committee, said:
“These proposals represent the first change to Council Tax in Scotland since its introduction in 1993. We want to hear from people across Scotland about how they view the increases in local taxation for Band E-H properties.
“The changes are intended to result in a fairer system of local taxation, so we’re particularly keen to receive comments on this aspect.
“Another key aspect of the Government’s Council Tax reform is its proposed Council Tax Reduction scheme which will provide targeted relief for an estimated 54,000 households in bands E-H. Any evidence the Committee receives on this will be passed to the Social Security Committee which will be looking in detail at this element.”
The effect of the band changes means that the average band E household will pay around £105 per year more and the average household in the highest band will pay around £517 per year more. No additional bands have been added and the ratios for Bands A-D will remain unchanged.
More information on the Committee’s call for evidence is available here.
The proposed Council Tax reduction scheme is for the introduction of a targeted relief for around 54,000 households in properties in Bands E-H on net incomes below the Scottish median for their household type, up to a maximum of £25,000. Evidence on this will be passed to the Social Security Committee which will be considering this.