SLDC poised to write off nearly £40K in unpaid council tax - bringing total uncollected to £110,000

SLDC poised to write off nearly £40K in unpaid council tax - bringing total uncollected to £110,000

SLDC poised to write off nearly £40K in unpaid council tax - bringing total uncollected to £110,000

First published in News
Last updated
The Westmorland Gazette: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter

HIGH-ranking councillors are meeting next week to consider writing off nearly £40,000 in unpaid council tax.

The ruling Lib Dem Cabinet on SLDC are being told by council officers to forget about ever getting the cash from those who have not paid their annual rates.

A report before the seven members of the council, which meets next Wednesday (March 19) says the outstanding sum of £36,395 is 'irrecoverable' and should be struck off the authority's accounts.

A further £73,944 in unpaid council tax has already been written off by the council's Chief Financial officer - amounting to a total of over £110,000.

Council papers point out that SLDC cannot say who owes the money as it could reveal the financial affairs of those involved, which is protected by legislation.

Every year, the council successfully collects around £66 million in council tax from more than 53,000 payers across South Lakeland.

It says this amounts to a collection rate of over 99 per cent and that 'all recovery procedures' are exhuasted to get people to pay up.

However, it says there are a 'small number' of cases where despite all the recovery processes, the debts cannot be recovered.

Last year, the council set aside £1.2 million for bad debts relating to council tax. The unpaid £110,000 will be met from this budget.

The decision will be made next Wednesday at a meeting in the council chamber in Kendal.

 

 

Comments (16)

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5:14pm Tue 11 Mar 14

snuggle-bunny says...

there goes somebody's payrise
there goes somebody's payrise snuggle-bunny
  • Score: 1

6:11pm Tue 11 Mar 14

nickjohn says...

what a joke..... what sort of threat is there to make sure people do pay when they do things like this...
what a joke..... what sort of threat is there to make sure people do pay when they do things like this... nickjohn
  • Score: 8

7:35pm Tue 11 Mar 14

Cas220 says...

What happened to the days when people did time in prison for not paying council tax?
What happened to the days when people did time in prison for not paying council tax? Cas220
  • Score: 5

8:21pm Tue 11 Mar 14

jimmyjazz says...

It says the Council collected £66,000,000 and £40,000 was uncollected. I make that a success rate of 99.94% but that doesn't vilify SLDC enough does it?
It says the Council collected £66,000,000 and £40,000 was uncollected. I make that a success rate of 99.94% but that doesn't vilify SLDC enough does it? jimmyjazz
  • Score: 6

8:43pm Tue 11 Mar 14

Lakeuk says...

I'd say keep it on the accounts, unless the debtor is deceased there's always a possibility of recovery not matter how slim. Liverpool City Council don't believe in writing of debt recently saying :-

"Unlike many other councils, we do not write off old arrears which means that the amount of Council Tax debt that appears in the accounts is far higher than other councils. But any comparison is meaningless as they treat their debts differently and have written off any chance of recovering the money. Last year, Liverpool brought in £8.5 million in historic Council Tax arrears and £381,000 of Poll Tax debt, which was then invested in services. This is money that the council would not otherwise have had."
I'd say keep it on the accounts, unless the debtor is deceased there's always a possibility of recovery not matter how slim. Liverpool City Council don't believe in writing of debt recently saying :- "Unlike many other councils, we do not write off old arrears which means that the amount of Council Tax debt that appears in the accounts is far higher than other councils. But any comparison is meaningless as they treat their debts differently and have written off any chance of recovering the money. Last year, Liverpool brought in £8.5 million in historic Council Tax arrears and £381,000 of Poll Tax debt, which was then invested in services. This is money that the council would not otherwise have had." Lakeuk
  • Score: 17

8:54am Wed 12 Mar 14

drixhen says...

does this mean everybody need not pay council tax because in my mind
what is good for those people that dont pay is good enough for them that do
does this mean everybody need not pay council tax because in my mind what is good for those people that dont pay is good enough for them that do drixhen
  • Score: 6

4:45pm Wed 12 Mar 14

jazzactivist says...

It's fair to say that some people just can't afford to pay their Council Tax, especially since the recession has been biting. But I wonder how much of these arrears is actually due to very poor people not being able to pay and second home owners / landlords / large home owners just avoiding doing so. It's only a relatively small amount, given the £66 million that has been collected, but I think it shouldn't be written off but remain on record as unpaid by those people. Circumstances can improve and arrears can be paid off, and wealthier people can be chased for the money and pay the court costs.
It's fair to say that some people just can't afford to pay their Council Tax, especially since the recession has been biting. But I wonder how much of these arrears is actually due to very poor people not being able to pay and second home owners / landlords / large home owners just avoiding doing so. It's only a relatively small amount, given the £66 million that has been collected, but I think it shouldn't be written off but remain on record as unpaid by those people. Circumstances can improve and arrears can be paid off, and wealthier people can be chased for the money and pay the court costs. jazzactivist
  • Score: -12

9:10pm Wed 12 Mar 14

nickjohn says...

£40k could pay wages for staff in struggling services, why should people lose jobs just because some people don't want to pay their bills, name and shame them....
£40k could pay wages for staff in struggling services, why should people lose jobs just because some people don't want to pay their bills, name and shame them.... nickjohn
  • Score: 7

1:10pm Thu 13 Mar 14

jazzactivist says...

£40,000 would only pay for one job, nickjohn, when you consider the salary and all the employer's on-costs.
£40,000 would only pay for one job, nickjohn, when you consider the salary and all the employer's on-costs. jazzactivist
  • Score: -8

4:57pm Thu 13 Mar 14

snuggle-bunny says...

40k- you could employ another manager for something or other for that
40k- you could employ another manager for something or other for that snuggle-bunny
  • Score: -2

10:51am Sat 15 Mar 14

Milkbutnosugarplease says...

Could the council not sell the debts to a private collection agency? I once had a visit from bailiffs who were trying to recover a debt on behalf of a London borough. Luckily, the debtor was not me but a man who lived in the same house 6 years earlier. I think he moved to London and didn't pay his council tax there.
Could the council not sell the debts to a private collection agency? I once had a visit from bailiffs who were trying to recover a debt on behalf of a London borough. Luckily, the debtor was not me but a man who lived in the same house 6 years earlier. I think he moved to London and didn't pay his council tax there. Milkbutnosugarplease
  • Score: 0

10:51am Sat 15 Mar 14

Milkbutnosugarplease says...

Could the council not sell the debts to a private collection agency? I once had a visit from bailiffs who were trying to recover a debt on behalf of a London borough. Luckily, the debtor was not me but a man who lived in the same house 6 years earlier. I think he moved to London and didn't pay his council tax there.
Could the council not sell the debts to a private collection agency? I once had a visit from bailiffs who were trying to recover a debt on behalf of a London borough. Luckily, the debtor was not me but a man who lived in the same house 6 years earlier. I think he moved to London and didn't pay his council tax there. Milkbutnosugarplease
  • Score: 0

4:20pm Mon 17 Mar 14

jazzactivist says...

I have had problems like that at the house where I currently live, Milk, and it isn't amusing. Debt collectors are still chasing debts owned by the person who owned this house before the previous owners, who sold it to me. The bailiffs took some convincing that I am not Mrs... and letters are still arriving here. I don't think £40,000 is all that much money in the bigger scheme of things. The Council could just increase the Council Tax for higher band properties or second homes to recoup it without anyone noticing much of a difference.
I have had problems like that at the house where I currently live, Milk, and it isn't amusing. Debt collectors are still chasing debts owned by the person who owned this house before the previous owners, who sold it to me. The bailiffs took some convincing that I am not Mrs... and letters are still arriving here. I don't think £40,000 is all that much money in the bigger scheme of things. The Council could just increase the Council Tax for higher band properties or second homes to recoup it without anyone noticing much of a difference. jazzactivist
  • Score: -6

8:40am Tue 18 Mar 14

Gingery says...

That figure represents around 20,000-30,000 people who haven't paid.
That figure represents around 20,000-30,000 people who haven't paid. Gingery
  • Score: 0

11:55am Tue 18 Mar 14

Gingery says...

Sorry I should say 20000-30000 households.
Sorry I should say 20000-30000 households. Gingery
  • Score: 0

12:55pm Tue 18 Mar 14

jimmyjazz says...

My mate works for a bailiff in Newcastle and he says people they "deal with" owe thousands of £ each, and they have owed it for years by the time it gets to them. So this might be about a handful of people.. I wish they would give us more information to go on.
My mate works for a bailiff in Newcastle and he says people they "deal with" owe thousands of £ each, and they have owed it for years by the time it gets to them. So this might be about a handful of people.. I wish they would give us more information to go on. jimmyjazz
  • Score: 0

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