Council tax | LocalGov

Council rejects tax freeze offer


Argyll and Bute Council has become the first to reject the Scottish Government’s council tax freeze.

Brum set to sell off £750m of assets


Cash-strapped Birmingham City Council is set to sell off £750m of assets and cut spending on services by £300m in an effort to balance the books.

Almost all areas set for maximum council tax rise


Virtually every local authority with responsibility for social care in England plans on raising its council tax by the maximum 4.99% this April, according to new analysis.

Council tax total set to exceed £57bn


The total amount raised from council tax is now expected to exceed £57.4bn by 2028, more than double the 2009 figure of £25.3bn, new analysis reveals.

Norfolk council to double council tax on second homes


Second-home owners in north Norfolk will see their council tax double from next year.

Northern households pay £250 more council tax


Households in the North are paying on average £250 a year more than they should for council tax due to ' outdated council tax bands’, campaigners say.

Wales could drive agenda on council tax, report argues


Wales could have a chance to deal with unfairness in the council tax system and drive the agenda for other nations and regions to follow, says think-tank.

Thurrock braced for 8% council tax hike


Thurrock residents could soon be hit with an 8% increase in council tax as the local authority attempts to close its budget gap.

Pembrokeshire council proposes record 21% council tax hike


Pembrokeshire County Council has proposed the highest ever percentage increase in council tax in Wales.

Brum granted permission to raise council tax by 10%


Levelling up secretary Michael Gove has approved Birmingham City Council’s request to increase council tax by up to 10% without a local referendum.

Gove sheds light on productivity plans


Michael Gove has released further details of the Government's productivity plans, including a clampdown on consultants and diversity schemes.

Council financial crisis ‘out of control’


MPs have issued a stark warning on the ‘very real’ prospect of more councils in England ‘effectively going bust’ if the Government does not address a £4bn funding gap.

Council leaders demand right to set tax levels


Local authority leaders in Scotland have renewed their fight to set their own council taxes – despite the pledge of a freeze by first minister Humza Yousaf.

Call for council tax overhaul


Work should begin now on the ‘long-overdue’ revaluation of all domestic properties in England to bolster local government finance, a think-tank has argued.

Argyll and Bute considers 10% council tax hike


Argyll and Bute Council are considering a council tax rise of 10% in order to tackle ‘enormous budget challenges’.

Council referrals to bailiffs up 20%


Referrals to bailiffs in England and Wales to recover council debts have risen by nearly 20%, a BBC investigation has found.

Conservative MPs call for emergency funding for councils


MPs representing county areas have called on the Government to provide emergency funding to cash-strapped councils to prevent further cuts to local services.

Oxfordshire CC budget proposals ‘£900,000 short’


Oxfordshire County Council has published proposals to save over £9.8m but is still £900,000 short of what is required for a balanced budget.

Thurrock avoids 10% council tax hike


Cash-strapped Thurrock Council has pledged residents will not face a 10% council tax rise – but still needs to confirm how much extra they must pay.

Somerset in capitalisation request amid ‘financial emergency’


Somerset Council is to seek a capitalisation direction and permission to raise council tax by up to 10% as it attempts to stave off a section 114 notice.

Birmingham faces 10% council tax hike


Cash-strapped Birmingham City Council could raise council tax by 10% if the Government gives its finance plan the go-ahead.

Somerset Council warns of ‘heart-breaking’ cuts


Public toilets, theatres, and leisure services in Somerset are set to be hit by cuts as the unitary authority attempts to bridge a £100m budget gap.

Welsh minister backs tax reforms


One of the candidates to become first minister of Wales has backed reform of council tax.

Council tax freeze to cost £156m


Scottish councils face a real terms cut of up to £156m next year as a result of the council tax freeze, new research has found.

Scottish councils get £14bn boost


Local government in Scotland is set to benefit from a £14bn boost but council tax will be frozen despite criticisms of the plan by local authority leaders.

Tax referendum cap lifted for three councils


A number of councils are set to raise council tax by up to 10% next year without holding referendums.

Council tax freeze costs Scottish Government £300m


Fully funding local authorities for Scotland’s council tax freeze contributes significantly to the £1.5bn shortfall facing Holyrood, experts have warned.

Brum requests permission to increase council tax over 5%


Birmingham City Council is set to apply for permission to increase council tax by more than 5% to help address a £300m budget gap.

Councillors recommend 300% empty properties’ council tax


Owners of long-term empty properties in Lewes are set to be hit by council tax premiums of up to 300% from April 2024.

Gove announces funding settlement


Michael Gove has announced the local government finance policy statement, ensuring councils will receive a 3% minimum funding increase before council tax.

Bath doubles council tax on second homes


Council tax on second homes in Bath is set to double as the local authority seeks to tackle the local housing shortage.

Poorer households should not be chased for council tax debt, MPs say


The Government should ensure local authorities are not ‘aggressively’ chasing council tax debt from those who can least afford it, MPs have said.

Wales consults on council tax reform


The Welsh Government has launched a consultation on redesigning the country's council tax system.

Council looks to address £100m ‘black hole’


Somerset Council is considering measures, including reducing staffing and cutting services to statutory levels, to cover a £100m funding gap.

Welsh councils face £750m shortfall


Local government finances in Wales are on an ‘unsustainable path’, according to a report from Cardiff University’s Wales Governance Centre.

DCN in cuts warning


Cultural services, community support and parks and green spaces are all at risk of cuts without a boost to the local government finance settlement, respondents to a District Councils’ Network (DCN) survey have warned.

‘No agreement’ with Scottish councils to freeze council tax


The decision to freeze council tax across Scotland was made ‘completely without reference to local government’, according to council bosses.

Liverpool to write off £25m council tax debt


Millions of pounds worth of unpaid council tax is set to be written off by Liverpool City Council as ‘irrecoverable’.

Rethinking council tax in Scotland


Alison Payne, research director of Reform Scotland, argues that it is past time for a major rethink of council tax in Scotland.

Calls to scrap council tax hike as consultation closes


Councils should have complete control over their local tax, thinktank Reform Scotland has said in response to plans to increase council tax across Scotland.

Council tax reforms divide sector


Scottish local authorities have been left deeply divided by proposals to hike council tax on higher bands.

Council tax leading to arbitrary tax bills


Council tax is ‘highly regressive’ and leads to increasingly arbitrary tax bills, financial experts say.

Tories call for tax cuts to boost housing


A group of Conservative MPs has called for tax cuts for areas where new housing is built.

Time to ban the use of bailiffs


Councils have the power to end the use of bailiffs for good. It’s time for them to show leadership, says Joe Cox, senior policy officer, Debt Justice.

Council tax rises to 10% of income in some areas


The council tax burden in some parts of the country has increased to over 10% of the average income, new research from the Taxpayers’ Alliance has revealed.

Local government funding system has 'broken down'


The funding system for local government has ‘broken down’ and what councils currently receive from Whitehall and council tax barely reflects need, a think-tank has warned.

Plans to increase Scottish council tax published


The Scottish government has published its proposals to increase council tax for those living in the highest value properties.

Waltham Forest Council appoints Voicescape to help drive up Council Tax collections


Voicescape has strengthened its public sector position, after being appointed by Waltham Forest Council – its sixth local gov client win in the last year.

Low-income households in Bristol could pay more council tax


Bristol City Council is considering reducing the support it gives low-income working age households to pay their council tax.

Council tax arrears hit ‘historic high’ of £5.5bn


The amount of unpaid council tax has reached a ‘new historic high’ of £5.5bn, according to official figures released by the DLUHC.

Progress on devolution 'too slow' - LGA vice-president


A Local Government Association vice-president has expressed ‘serious concerns about the Government’s increasing desire to centralise local service delivery across England out of Whitehall’.

Council tax up nearly 80% in three decades


Council tax has increased by 79% in real terms on average since it was introduced 30 years ago, according to new figures.

Long-term solution sought to drainage board pressure


Councils are seeking a ‘long-term solution’ as internal drainage boards (IDB) warn increasing energy costs will pile further pressure on council budgets.

Council errors led resident to be unfairly threatened with court


Clerical confusion and billing errors led to a Barnet resident being unfairly threatened with court action for not paying her council tax, Ombudsman finds.

Welsh Government to detail council tax reform later this year


The Welsh Government has revealed it will announce details of its council tax reforms later this year.

Nearly £19bn of benefits go unclaimed


The total amount of unclaimed income-related benefits and social tariffs is now £18.7bn a year, a new study has found.

Urban councils call for redistributive funding model


A network of urban councils has launched a manifesto calling on the Government to end competitive bidding and return to a redistributive council funding model.

Number of empty homes at highest level in decade


The number of empty homes in London has risen to the highest level since 2010, according to the latest figures.

COSLA welcomes plans to double tax on empty homes


Councils in Scotland could soon be able to charge up to double the full rate of council tax on empty and second homes, the Scottish government has announced.

County council chiefs issue ‘bleak’ finance warning


County councils need to make £1bn worth of savings in order to cope with ‘unprecedented’ financial pressures, county council chiefs say.

Bailiffs breaking rules on ‘massive scale’, says charity


Bailiffs are breaking the rules on a ‘massive scale’ and driving people deeper into poverty, charity warns.

District councils ‘starved of cash’, local leaders warn


District councils say they are being starved of cash while county authorities are being allowed to raise their bills, causing a ‘devastating’ impact.

Northern Powerhouse group calls for ‘proper fiscal devolution’


New council tax ‘super bands’ covering the most valuable properties and the devolution of stamp duty will help local leaders retain local cash, report says.

Council apologises for telling widower he is dead


A Norfolk council has apologised after ‘human error’ led to a letter being sent to a widower about his own death.

Monmouthshire CC clamps down on second homes


Monmouthshire County Council has become the latest local authority in Wales to clamp down on second homes.

Croydon approves 15% tax hike


Croydon LBC has approved a 15% council tax increase as part of a 2023-24 budget that was originally rejected.

New Lake District authority doubles tax on second homes


The new Westmorland and Furness Council has agreed to introduce a 100% council tax premium on second homes.

Over 50% of councils set to cut spending on services


Half of councils are planning to cut spending on services, increase commercial investments or spend their reserves to make ends meet this year, poll reveals.

Grant councils power to fight ‘exploitative lets’, think tank says


Councils should be given more powers to set the rules about who can buy properties as one measure to tackle ‘exploitative lets’, think tank says.

Woking Borough Council warns of possible S114


Woking Borough Council has warned that it is ‘in the territory’ of effective bankruptcy as it struggles with over £2bn of debt.

Council in £540m debt write off plea


Croydon LBC has asked Government to write off £540m of its debt in 2023-24 to ‘restore financial sustainability’.

Auditor sounded alarm over BCP budget


Grave warnings were issued about 11th hour changes to BCP Council’s budget before frustrated leader Drew Mellor resigned, it has emerged.

Majority of councils opt for 5% council tax rises


Three quarters of councils will increase their council tax by the maximum allowed without a referendum in April.

Westminster council unveils cost-of-living crisis budget


Westminster City Council has unveiled a budget aimed at helping residents hit by the cost-of-living crisis.

Tax referendum threshold raised for three councils


Thurrock, Croydon and Slough will be allowed to increase council tax beyond the referendum limits imposed on others, the Government has confirmed.

Voicescape appointed by Hartlepool Borough Council after raft of revenue and benefits wins


Voicescape has strengthened its footprint in the public sector, after being appointed by Hartlepool BC.. This follows a number of local government client wins.

Brown to ask Government to bypass referendum limit


The chief executive of troubled Slough Council is preparing to ask the Government for permission to increase council tax above the 5% legal limit.

Council proposes stopping council tax for poorer families


Stafford Borough Council is proposing changes to its local council tax reduction scheme which will mean some families will pay no council tax next year.

South Hams council to double council tax on second homes


Second home owners in the South Hams area of Devon will soon have to pay double the council tax amount for the area.

Districts push for council tax flexibility


Districts are pushing the Government to allow them to increase council tax by more than 3% or £5 without a referendum.

New regulatory body for bailiffs launched


A new regulatory body for bailiffs was launched today as new figures reveal over a third of families fear the cost-of-living crisis will force them into debt.

Autumn Statement: Hunt confirms council tax rises of 5%


Chancellor Jeremy Hunt has announced a likely 5% hike in council tax, as well as swinging public spending cuts, as part of a dramatic Autumn Statement.

Council's bankruptcy warning over Chagossian influx


A council has warned it could be forced to effectively declare bankruptcy if it has to fund housing for thousands of people of Chagossian descent.

Councils could be forced to hike council tax by 20% over next two years


Council leaders are warning council tax must rise by 20% over the next two years in order to meet ‘spiralling’ financial costs.

Mini budgets, big budgets – the need for stability and direction is clear


Sean Sutton argues revenues and benefits have always been at the forefront of implementing new and innovative ways of delivering services – no more so than in the current climate.

How Middlesbrough Council increased engagement rates by 59% of residents in Council Tax arrears


Middlesbrough Council embarked on a six-month pilot with Voicescape to improve customer engagement over outstanding payments.

Cornwall Council warns of cuts to fill £62m hole


Cornwall Council has warned that it may be forced to cut spending on discretionary services as it seeks to fill a budget gap of £62m.

Deadline for council tax rebate extended


Councils have been given longer to help households claim their council tax rebate.

Mini-Budget: Government in 'early discussions' on Investment Zones


The Government is in ‘early discussions with nearly 40 places’ including Tees Valley and the West Midlands about creating new Investment Zones offering tax cuts for businesses, the chancellor has confirmed.

Council tax on Yorkshire second homes to double


The council tax on second homes in North Yorkshire could double in a move aimed at tackling the housing crisis, the county council has announced.

Council tax rebates now issued to 80% of eligible households


Nearly 80% of eligible households have now received their £150 council tax rebate, the latest figures have shown.

Council tax levy could replace TV licencing fee, argues report


A universal household levy linked to council tax bills could offer a better alternative to the BBC's existing licence fee, a report from the House of Lords has argued.

Council tax revaluation announced for Wales


The Welsh Government has announced it will revalue all 1.5 million properties in the country under bold plans to modernise the council tax system.

Welsh councils to get new powers over second homes


Welsh councils will be given new powers to limit the number of second homes in their community under plans revealed by the First Minister.

Council tax loophole costs councils £150m a year


Local authorities are missing out on millions of pounds worth of council tax income because of a loophole in the business rates system, company warns.

Regulator finds ‘competition concerns’ with Veolia and Suez merger


A merger of the waste management companies Veolia and Suez could lead to a loss of competition and an increase in costs for local authorities, regulator warns.

Poorest households struggle to get £150 energy rebate


The poorest households are struggling to get the £150 energy rebate that local authorities have been tasked with paying, an energy charity has warned.

Councils allocated £28m to cover costs of council tax rebate


Local authorities have been allocated just over £28m to help cover the costs of administrating the council tax rebate scheme.

Council tax top priority in local elections


The level of council tax is the top local election priority for Londoners, a recent survey has revealed.

Sponsors of Ukrainian refugees to get council tax breaks


Households who become sponsors through the Homes for Ukraine scheme will not lose their council tax discounts, minister for refugees Lord Harrington confirmed.

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