£380,000 owed to Town Hall in unpaid council tax
8:41am Thursday 17th January 2013 in News
PEOPLE in Bolton owe the council more than £380,000 in unpaid council tax.
Bolton magistrates have granted the council liability orders for 692 residents who have not paid their council tax — despite numerous reminders and court summons being sent to them.
In total, £383,477 has not been paid.
It comes after the council took 725 residents to court who owed a total of £414,658. The total amount owed is £798,136 Most of the unpaid bills date from the current financial year 2012/13, but there are some from previous years.
The liability order means the council has the power to bring in bailiffs to recover the money if it is not paid.
In the most recent case, the council sent summons to 891 residents who had not paid their Council Tax.
Of that number, 692 were taken to court and so far, 184 have made arrangements to pay.
Bolton Council will send a letter to the remaining 508 people to ask them to provide income details and to pay the amount in full or make a payment arrangement.
The council has also been forced to issue liability orders for businesses who have not paid their rates.
In October, 49 businesses, who owed £253,430 in unpaid rates, were taken to court.
And the council took another 71 businesses to court who owed £235,520.
The council has said liability orders are seen as a last resort.
People are first sent a bill. If they miss a payment they are sent a reminder and if more instalments are missed they are sent a reminder.
If the money is still not paid they are issued with a summons and taken to court. A council spokesman said: “The majority of our residents pay their council tax on time and we usually collect between 96 and 97 per cent of charges by the end of the financial year, and then continue to collect arrears after that.
“We do understand in the current economic climate there are people who are struggling or unable to pay their bills. However, we do have a duty to collect money in order to fund public services and we will take people to court if reminders are ignored.
“If people are struggling we would encourage them to get in touch as we may be able to help. ”
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