Council tax payers to be quizzed over spending

PUBLISHED: 08:00 22 September 2013

Archant

QUESTIONS are being asked of Sedgemoor residents over how their council tax is being spent as new figures show the number of people shirking the collection has increased.

Sedgemoor District Council is asking taxpayers in its area how they feel their cash should be spent in a new consultation sent to 5,000 homes.

But the authority has revealed the collection rate has dropped slightly year-on-year, by 0.56 per cent.

It said this was due to benefits changes which have seen some people having to pay the rate for the first time, changes to exemptions and the recession in general.

A council spokesman said: “We always had a very good collection rate, something like 99 per cent.

“But because of the change in benefits there are people having to pay council tax who never had to pay before.”

A statement released by the authority said: “Sedgemoor District Council gets approximately 9p in the pound from each pound paid in council tax, the other 91p being split between Somerset County Council, emergency services and parish/town councils.

“Sedgemoor has been carrying out an annual budget consultation exercise for several years, in order to ensure the views of the public are considered when making decisions regarding budgets and priorities.

“Sedgemoor has been successful with budget consultation in previous years, but is looking to sustain that success and improve further.”

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