Glasgow tenants owe £13m in council tax

Glasgow tenants owe £13m in council tax

More than £13.2 million in council tax payments went unpaid to Glasgow City Council in the 2014/15 financial year, according to new figures.

Meanwhile, the local authority’s collection rate for the tax reached an all-time high.

Council data shows a total of 239,143 First Reminder notices were issued to Glasgow households over the past financial year, and 86,874 accounts were passed to the council’s debt management team.

However, the council’s collection rate has increased to 94.6 per cent from 85.6 per cent in 2004/05 and a collection rate of just 73 per cent on the authority’s creation in 1996.

A total of £180.9 million was collected in 2014/15.

The council is continuing to pursue tenants who have not paid.

One Glasgow councillor, Cllr Gerry Boyle, criticised the collection process because the local authority is “unable to reject households who clearly are unable to pay their debts”.

Alan Benson, director at Milnbank Housing Association, told the Evening Times that many tenants were “struggling from benefit cuts”.

He added: “It makes it difficult for people to afford to pay council tax with all the other bills.”

A spokesperson for Glasgow City Council said: “Today, the city’s collection rate is higher than ever before and Glasgow is the fastest improving authority in Scotland for revenue collection.

“This has been achieved through investment in new systems; changes that make it simpler to pay bills, and a debt management policy that focuses on breaking the cycle of debt for people who regularly find themselves in arrears.”

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