Council tax bills set to rise in highest bands

Finance Secretary Derek Mackay
Finance Secretary Derek Mackay

Around £2.5 million is expected to be raised by local residents in South Ayrshire next year as a result of changes to Council Tax bills for properties in Bands E to H.

Almost 18,000 households in South Ayrshire will see their Council Tax bills increase between at least £100-£500 next year ­­­– or between £2-£10 per week – say South Ayrshire Council following the Scottish Government’s revisions to the highest Council Tax bands.

Councillor Bill McIntosh, Leader of South Ayrshire Council, said: “After so many years with no change in the Council Tax, these Scottish Government increases – of between 7 and 22 per cent – are likely to come as quite a shock to affected households and it’s important that they start planning now for payments going up from April.

“And while these changes will not impact on the lower value properties, they could easily create a financial burden on those in the affected property bands who are just managing to get by, or who are low income households.

“Revisions to the Council Tax Reduction Scheme mean that some of these taxpayers will qualify for financial support and we will provide the relevant guidance, which we’re currently awaiting, with the annual Council Tax billing notice in the new year.

“We will do all we can to make sure every penny raised as a result of the Government’s increase to Council Tax makes a difference for the people and communities of South Ayrshire – however, this has to be considered in the context of a net reduction in our overall funding from Government.

To check the Council Tax banding for your property and see if you will be affected by the Scottish Government’s Council Tax changes, visit www.saa.gov.uk/ayrshire/.

Finance Secretary Derek Mackay unveiled the Scottish Government budget last week.

Mr Mackay said: “Today’s budget delivers a strong settlement for local government. The measures I have announced today mean that the total support from the Scottish Government and through local taxation provides an increase in spending power on local government services, not of £59.6 million, but of £240.6 million or 2.3 per cent.

“Local government will receive £120 million from central government to fund our shared ambitions to close the attainment gap. In addition we will maintain councils’ share of capital spending with an increase of £150 million compared to 2016-17. Councils will keep the full value of the revenue from Council Tax re-banding.”