March 2, 2016
This page provides more information on the package of reform to be introduced by the Scottish Government to deliver a fairer version of the council tax.
The reforms to council tax will raise an additional £100m per year, which we will choose – through future local government settlements – to invest in schools.
Three out of every four households in Scotland will see a reduction in or no change to what they pay as a result of council tax band reform. The Council Tax Reduction (CTR) scheme will also be extended to exempt those in affected bands on net median incomes up to £25,000.
The CTR scheme will be enhanced to extend the relief available for 77,000 low income households with children by an average of £173 per year, benefitting nearly 140,000 children.
The majority of households in the higher bands E-H will be asked to pay more, but this is within the context of a freeze in bills since 2007-08.
Average council tax bills under the reformed system will also be lower than they would have been in the absence of the council tax freeze (assuming a 3 per cent per annum increase from 2007-08 to 2016-17):
The council tax freeze will remain in place until April 2017. From April 2017, councils will be able to increase council tax levels across all bands by a maximum of 3 per cent per year – if they choose to do so, they could generate up to an additional £70m per year for public services.
Council tax bills are currently lower than in England and reform of the council tax will keep bills lower than the average rates in England.
Current average CT Bill (Scotland) Band A – H £766, £893, £1,021, £1,149, £1,404, £1,659, £1,914, £2,297
England – average CT Bill (2015-16) Band A – H £989, £1,154, £1,319, £1,484, £1,814, £2,144, £2,473, £2,968
A new fund will be introduced to help address the relatively low take up of CTR entitlement, particularly amongst pensioners.