Town Halls Blame Council Tax Losses on IT

By Gainsbury, Sally | Public Finance, June 22, 2007 | Go to article overview

Town Halls Blame Council Tax Losses on IT


Gainsbury, Sally, Public Finance


Computer glitches have been blamed for a substantial drop in council tax collection in 23 local authorities, leading to a loss of more than £26m from town hall budgets last year, Public Finance has learnt.

Figures published by the Department for Communities and Local Government on June 19 showed that, overall, local authorities in England increased their council tax and non-domestic rate collection by 0.01% between 2005/06 and 2006/07. But in 23 councils collection rates dropped by one percentage point or more, leaving councils £26. 14m down on the year before.

The biggest drop was at Bradford City Council, where the fall from 95.2% in 2005/06 to 91.8% in 2006/07 meant the council forfeited £4.64m last year. A spokeswoman said: 'While the council is disappointed with the short-term drop in performance, it was nevertheless expected during a period of significant change last year when we introduced a new integrated computer system that brought together the benefits and council tax systems'

A spokeswoman for Birmingham City Council - which missed out on £4.19m council tax revenue in 2006/07 - similarly blamed the implementation of a new computer system which led to bills being sent out late. …

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