Our Call for Written Evidence was designed to help start the conversation about local tax reform in Scotland.
We wanted all of work to be transparent and accessible, and we therefore published all of the responses that we received, where we have been given permission to do so. You can view these by accessing our Submissions page. All of the responses have also been independently read and analysed. You can download a copy of the Independent Analysis of the Call for Written Evidence which was published on Friday 21st August 2015.
This analysis found that more than two-thirds of respondents think that the current system of Council Tax is unfair, but opinion is split on the best way of achieving reform.
Respondents to the call for evidence perceived the Council Tax to be unfair for a number of reasons, which included:
- Many respondents felt council tax is regressive, with poorer households paying proportionately more than richer households and not clearly linked to the ability to pay
- Many felt that it impacts negatively on vulnerable households, with families with children, older people, disabled people and carers more likely to be impacted negatively
- Respondents also said that there needed to be a stronger link with local democracy, with more tax raised at a local level and a greater understanding that council tax and non-domestic rates presently account for a small proportion of overall local government funding
They also identified the efficiency and stability of the present system as key features that should be retained in any alternative future system of local taxation.
However, opinion was split on alternatives to the Council Tax, with a reformed local property tax, local income tax and land value tax the three main options highlighted.
A majority of the more than 200 respondents also suggested that there was a disconnect between local priorities and the way that local taxation is operated, suggesting that local government should raise more of what it spends.