Views sought on changes to higher bands.
Potential changes to the council tax system that could see those in the highest value properties asked to pay more if they can afford to have been published.
A joint consultation with COSLA is seeking views on plans to increase the amount paid by people in bands E, F, G and H. This aims to address criticism that the system is unfair, because at present those in the lower bands pay a higher proportion of the value of their property than those in the higher bands.
Around 75% of properties would be unaffected if the proposals, which could be phased in over a period of three years, were implemented. The Council Tax Reduction scheme would continue to offer lower bills for those unable to afford their council tax, regardless of what band they are in.
The consultation will run for 10 weeks from 12 July to 20 September 2023. Any changes would come into effect at the start of the 2024-25 financial year.
Even with the proposed increases taken into account, the average Band E to G charge would still be lower in Scotland than in England.
|Band A||Band B||Band C||Band D||Band E||Band F||Band G||Band H|
|% change in average bill||0.0%||0.0%||0.0%||0.0%||7.5%||12.5%||17.5%||22.5%|
|Average charge in Scotland after increases||£944||£1,102||£1,259||£1,417||£2,001||£2,590||£3,259||£4,251|
Only around 28% of properties are in bands E-H and could be impacted by the proposed change.
The consultation has been endorsed by the Joint Working Group on Council Tax, which was established as a commitment in the 2021-22 Programme for Government and the Bute House agreement.
In 2015, the Commission on Local Tax Reform highlighted how the original multipliers – set out in the 1992 Local Government Finance Act – resulted in properties in Band H paying three times as much Council Tax as a property in Band A despite the fact that the Band H properties were estimated to be worth, on average, fifteen times the value of properties in Band A.
In 2023-24, Council Tax for a Band D property in different councils across Scotland varied between £1,261 and £1,515. In Scotland the average 2023-24 Band D rate (£1,417) is £648 less than in England (£2,065), and £463 less than in Wales (£1,879).