Council Tax Figures

D.Gill made this Freedom of Information request to Manchester City Council

This request has been closed to new correspondence. Contact us if you think it should be reopened.

The request was partially successful.

Dear Manchester City Council,

I am led to believe that a percentage or fixed amount is included in everyone's council tax bill for payment towards the deficit caused by those who don't/wont/can't pay for whatever reason.

If this is the case, please provide me information for each year for the last six years for:

1) The percentage, or specific amount of the "non-payer" charge included in council tax bills.

2) The total amount collected purely in "non-payer" charges.

3) The total amount "lost" or outstanding by the council each year by non-payers of council tax

4) The amount of council tax collected as a result of court orders.

5) Total income to the council from court/summons fees in respect of council tax.

6) Total cost payable by yourselves to the courts for their service in relation to council tax summonses cases.

Many thanks

Yours faithfully,

D.Gill

Manchester City Council

Dear Sir/Madam

Re: Request for Information - Reference No: COR/CTAX/8Z6KUE

Thank you for your request for information received by Manchester City
Council on 16th October 2012.

Please note that it may take up to 20 working days (approximately 4 weeks)
for the Council to consider your request and to provide a formal response.

If this timescale needs to be extended to consider an exemption you will be
notified and kept informed.

If you have any queries, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Yours faithfully

Cath Cryer
Information Compliance Unit
Democratic Services
PO Box 532
Town Hall
Albert Square
Manchester
M60 2LA

Email: [Manchester City Council request email]
Website: www.manchester.gov.uk

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Dear Manchester City Council,

Your response to my FOI request is now overdue.
By law, you should have responded PROMPTLY and by 12th NOVEMBER 2012.

Yours faithfully,

D.Gill

Manchester City Council

Dear Sir or Madam

Re: Request for Information - Reference No: COR/CTAX/8Z6KUE

Thank you for your recent email.

I apologise for the delay in answering your request and will again follow
up your enquiry with the departments that are providing the
information requested to establish when the Council will be able to issue
you with a response.

Yours sincerely

Catherine Spencer
Information Compliance Unit
Democratic Services
PO Box 532
Town Hall
Albert Square

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Manchester City Council

Good afternoon Mr Gill

I apologise for the delay in responding to your request. I have responded
to your questions below in italics

You asked

"I am led to believe that a percentage or fixed amount is included in
everyone's council tax bill for payment towards the deficit caused by
those who don't/wont/can't pay for whatever reason."

When the council tax for the year is calculated, we make a percentage
allowance (2006 to 2010 = 2% 2010 to 2012 = 2.5%) for non payment of
council tax.  It would not be prudent of us to assume a 100% collection
rate. Non Payer" charges are not included in our council tax bills.  An
allowance for non collection is calculated when the budget is calculated.
   
    If this is the case, please provide me information for each year for
the last six years for:
   
    1) The percentage, or specific amount of the "non-payer" charge
included in council tax bills.

        N/a - see above
    2) The total amount collected purely in "non-payer" charges.

        As there is no specific amount included, there is no specific
amount collected.
    3) The total amount "lost" or outstanding by the council each year by
non-payers of council tax

        The figures below are the amount of the current year Council Tax
that remained outstanding at 31 March of the financial year that it was
due. If this is not what you asked for, please let me know.

2011/12                £9.74 million
2010/11                £10.1 million
2009/10                £11.12 million
2008/9                £11.92 million
2007/8                £12.66 million
2006/7                 £13.6 million
    4) The amount of council tax collected as a result of court orders.

It is not possible to separate out the amount collected as a result of
court orders from other collections.
    5) Total income to the council from court/summons fees in respect of
council tax.

2011/12                £2.16 million
2010/11                £2.02 million
2009/10                £2.12 million
2008/9                £1.96 million
2007/8                £2.24 million
2006/7                 £1.88 million
    6) Total cost payable by yourselves to the courts for their service in
relation to council tax summonses cases.

2011/12                £165,000
2010/11                £162,000
2009/10                £183,000
2008/9                £180,000
2007/8                £214,500
2006/7                 £198,000

I hope this is the information that you require, but if you need any
further clarification, please don't hesitate to contact me.

Regards
Charles Metcalfe
Revenues Manager - Manchester City Council
Alexandra House
Moss Lane East
Manchester
M15 5NX

Internal tel: 811 8449
tel: 0161 219 6382
fax: 0161 274 7214

 

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Dear Manchester City Council,
Thank you for your reply.
However I find this statement rather confusing:

"When the council tax for the year is calculated, we make a percentage
allowance (2006 to 2010 = 2% 2010 to 2012 = 2.5%) for non payment of
council tax. It would not be prudent of us to assume a 100% collection
rate. Non Payer" charges are not included in our council tax bills. An
allowance for non collection is calculated when the budget is calculated."

This implies that there is in fact a percentage of the council tax collected that is allocated towards non-payers, so it should be possible for you to provide figures for the periods requested.

Also, the figures that you give in respect of summons charge income and payments to courts seem to be quite profitable for you.
For example, you quote that in 2011/12, you have collected £2.16 million in summons charges and yet only paid £165,000 to the courts!
Surely this cannot be justified.

Please could you clarify these points.

Many thanks.
Yours faithfully,

D.Gill

Manchester City Council

Good afternoon Mr Gill.

a) When the Council's budget is set an allowance is made for non
collection of Council Tax as previously detailed but it is not allocated
to individual Council Tax bills. The net amount of Council Tax estimated
to be collectable together with other sources of income make up the total
resources of the Council. The Council budget is set based on the total
resources available.

b) A very significant amount of work is undertaken after a Liability Order
is obtained to recover the outstanding debt. This may include tracing and
pursuing absconders, taking insolvency or committal proceedings, dealing
with disputes or simply engaging with debtors who are trying to pay their
Council Tax under difficult circumstances. The costs income helps to cover
this. If everyone paid on time, or immediately they received the summons,
this work would not be necessary and the costs would be lower.

I hope this answers your further query.

Regards
Charles Metcalfe
Revenues Manager - Manchester City Council
Alexandra House
Moss Lane East
Manchester
M15 5NX

Internal tel: 811 8449
tel: 0161 219 6382
fax: 0161 274 7214

"D.Gill" To [email address]
<[FOI #133510 email]> cc
Subject Re: FOI request - our ref -
16/11/2012 18:59 COR/CTAX/8Z6KUE

     Dear Manchester City Council,
    Thank you for your reply.
    However I find this statement rather confusing:
   
    "When the council tax for the year is calculated, we make a
    percentage
    allowance (2006 to 2010 = 2% 2010 to 2012 = 2.5%) for non payment
    of
    council tax. It would not be prudent of us to assume a 100%
    collection
    rate. Non Payer" charges are not included in our council tax
    bills. An
    allowance for non collection is calculated when the budget is
    calculated."
   
    This implies that there is in fact a percentage of the council tax
    collected that is allocated towards non-payers, so it should be
    possible for you to provide figures for the periods requested.
   
    Also, the figures that you give in respect of summons charge income
    and payments to courts seem to be quite profitable for you.
    For example, you quote that in 2011/12, you have collected £2.16
    million in summons charges and yet only paid £165,000 to the
    courts!
    Surely this cannot be justified.
   
    Please could you clarify these points.
   
    Many thanks.
    Yours faithfully,
   
    D.Gill
   
   

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Dear Manchester City Council,
Many thanks for your reply of 27th November 2012.

May I apologise that for personal reasons I have been unable to respond sooner.

I still require clarification by way of figures and not percentages in relation to the amounts used every year towards the deficit caused by non-payers.

Please can you provide me with these figures for the last six years.

Many thanks

Yours faithfully,

D.Gill

Dear Manchester City Council,

Any chance of an acknowledgement that my communication on 10th January is being looked in to ?

Yours faithfully,

D.Gill

Manchester City Council

1 Attachment

Good afternoon Mr Gill.

Below is a table showing the calculated cash figure that stems from the
assumed non collection % outlined below.

We do not have the final outturn debit for 2012/13 as it changes all the
time. Based on the most recent figures available (end of December) you
get:

Net debit = £177,025,000
% = 2.5%

assumed non collection in £'s =  £4,425,625

I hope that this gives you all the information you require.

Regards
Charles Metcalfe
Revenues Manager - Manchester City Council
Alexandra House
Moss Lane East
Manchester
M15 5NX

Internal tel: 811 8449
tel: 0161 219 6382
fax: 0161 274 7214

"D.Gill" To [email address]
<[FOI #133510 email]> cc
Subject Re: FOI request - our ref -
10/01/2013 13:53 COR/CTAX/8Z6KUE

     Dear Manchester City Council,
    Many thanks for your reply of 27th November 2012.
   
    May I apologise that for personal reasons I have been unable to
    respond sooner.
   
    I still require clarification by way of figures and not percentages
    in relation to the amounts used every year towards the deficit
    caused by non-payers.
   
    Please can you provide me with these figures for the last six
    years.
   
    Many thanks
   
    Yours faithfully,
   
    D.Gill
   
   

show quoted sections

Archibald left an annotation ()

Please note Manchester City Council's response on 27 November 2012;

" b) A very significant amount of work is undertaken after a Liability Order is obtained to recover the outstanding debt. This may include tracing and pursuing absconders, taking insolvency or committal proceedings, dealing with disputes or simply engaging with debtors who are trying to pay their Council Tax under difficult circumstances. The costs income helps to cover this. If everyone paid on time, or immediately they received the summons, this work would not be necessary and the costs would be lower. "

This should be brought to the attention of the Economic Crime Unit at Greater Manchester Police if not the Serious Fraud Office.

The Council, must by law, comply with the Council Tax (Administration and Enforcement) Regulations 1992. The above quoted paragraph is an admission that Manchester City Council have no regard for regulation 34(5)(b) and 34(7)(b) of that Statutory Instrument.

http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/1992/...

The law states that costs claimed must be incurred and are provided for under regulation 34(5)(b) and 34(7)(b) which categorically do not include costs for work undertaken after a Liability Order has been obtained.

http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/1992/...

Application for liability order

" 34.–(5) If, after a summons has been issued in accordance with paragraph (2) but before the application is heard, there is paid or tendered to the authority an amount equal to the aggregate of—

(a) the sum specified in the summons as the sum outstanding or so much of it as remains outstanding (as the case may be); and

(b) a sum of an amount equal to the costs reasonably incurred by the authority in connection with the application up to the time of the payment or tender,

the authority shall accept the amount and the application shall not be proceeded with.

(6) The court shall make the order if it is satisfied that the sum has become payable by the defendant and has not been paid.

(7) An order made pursuant to paragraph (6) shall be made in respect of an amount equal to the aggregate of—

(a) the sum payable, and

(b) a sum of an amount equal to the costs reasonably incurred by the applicant in obtaining the order. "

To see a detailed account of the way councils abuse court costs look here:

http://www.legalbeagles.info/forums/show...