Magazine article Public Finance

Worst Councils Fail to Collect Up to 20% of Tax

Magazine article Public Finance

Worst Councils Fail to Collect Up to 20% of Tax

Article excerpt

Local authorities are losing millions of pounds in council tax revenue each year because of inadequate collection systems, according to a study by the GMB trade union.

Its analysis, published on March 2, found that English authorities are failing to collect up to 20% of the council tax owed, resulting in substantial losses in revenue that can have serious knock-on effects on local services.

The London Borough of Hackney was the worst performing authority in England, failing to collect 20.7% of the tax it was owed in 2003/04. The GMB said it had cost the authority around £11m in lost revenue.

London was heavily represented among the ranks of the bottom performers: 14 of England's worst 25 authorities are in the capital.

Other major cities also fared badly, such as Leicester, Liverpool and Manchester, which respectively lost out on 9.8%, 9. …

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