Commission seeks public views on the future of council tax

Written by Kate Shannon on 4 May 2015 in News

Local government funding reviewed

Scots are being asked for their views on the future of local taxation.

The Commission on Local Tax Reform is looking for members of the public and interested organisations to respond to its formal call for evidence.

The independent cross-party body, which was set up to look at fairer ways of funding local government, is co-chaired by Minister for Local Government Marco Biagi and Councillor David O’Neill, president of COSLA. 

The views of Scotland’s 2.4 million council tax payers are fundamental to our understanding

Biagi said: “This unique commission sees experts and practitioners together with MSPs and representatives from local government who are working across the political divide to examine alternative systems of local taxation.

“The present council tax is universally acknowledged as being unfair, but our public services depend upon the £2 billion of funding it delivers each year.

“The views of Scotland’s 2.4 million council tax payers are fundamental to our understanding of other potential systems and their likely success.

“Nearly every household in Scotland is liable for council tax, but nobody has ever asked the public how they might best contribute to the funding of public services.”

It is expected to report to the Scottish Government and COSLA this autumn, in advance of the 2016 Scottish Parliament elections.

O’Neill added: “We have started a process to find out what it would take to develop a better system of local taxation in Scotland.  

“There is a lot to play for and that’s why we are asking new questions about what happens now and what the future might be. 

“I know that these issues really matter to people across Scotland, and we’ll be listening closely to what we hear. 

“Over the coming months we’ll be putting in place many other ways in which people can meet us and share their ideas- in fact, we want to hear about how we should do this.”

Both an online questionnaire – intended to take no more than five minutes – and the call for evidence are available via the commission’s website.

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