Council Tax collection helps servicesPublished Tuesday, 8th April 2014
The Council collected a much-needed additional £6 million in Council Tax and non-domestic rates in the last financial year - a welcome boost in the battle to provide vital front-line services.
In 2013/14 an additional £5.2 million was collected in Council Tax as well as an additional £2 million of non-domestic business rates.
The 97.1 per cent collection rate for Council Tax resulted in £93.9 million being collected. This compares with £88.7 million in 2012/13.
A collection rate of 98.2 per cent for non-domestic business rates resulted in £73.5 million being collected compared with £71.5 million the previous year. This additional income of £2 million is shared with the Government.
The additional collections mean that Rotherham has a total of £6 million to spend on frontline services at a time when it is having to cut its budget.
Cllr Jahangir Akhtar, Deputy Leader of the Council, praised the Rotherham taxpayers.
He said: "The Rotherham public do demand our thanks and praise. Despite the Government’s many changes to the benefits system and the rising cost of living being faced by so many, Rotherham people have come up trumps, with the majority paying their bills on time. It just shows that even at a time of Government cuts, Rotherham is a proud town with proud people, who will do the right thing in spite of their own political views.
"Rotherham has consistently been one of the top performing councils in terms of its collection rates so it comes as no surprise that we appear to have done so well once again. The overall figures for other authorities have yet to be published, but huge credit must go to our revenues staff who adopt a firm but fair collection policy to ensure that those who can pay do so, and those that are struggling to make payments are provided assistance through benefits, discounts and advice.
"Credit must also go to the tax-paying public. Their conscientious behaviour is much appreciated. Our reduced budgets mean we need every penny we can to continue to offer vital front-line services and this £6 million has helped do that when we set the Council’s 2014/15 budget earlier this year."