Council tax bills issued by Comhairle nan Eilean Siar next week will see the first increases since 2007 following the reform of council tax bands by the Scottish Government and the decision of the council to raise an additional 3%.
This 3% increase will contribute an estimated £380,000 towards Comhairle nan Eilean Siar’s budget for 2017/18 and is part of a range of measures to reduce a £6.1m funding gap to £2.5m.
Additionally, from 1st April 2017, the way council tax is charged on properties in bands E,F,G and H is changing as a result of legislation introduced by the Scottish Government. These changes will increase the income Comhairle nan Eilean Siar receives from council tax by a further £160,000 as a consequence of the increases in the amounts levied in these bands.
These vary by band and Comhairle nan Eilean Siar has no discretion to vary the increases which are as follows: Band E +7.5%; Band F +12.5%; Band G +17.5% and Band H +22.5%. The majority of houses in the islands are valued between bands A to D.
Households with an annual income of up to £25,000 (£16,750 for a single household) can apply for a full exemption of the increased charge and Comhairle nan Eilean Siar would encourage those who are eligible to contact staff in the Revenues and Benefits Team as detailed in the leaflet included with their bill.
The table below illustrates the changes in bills from 2016/17 to 2017/18 and the reasons for them: