As part of its evidence-gathering processes, the Commission operated an online survey asking a series of question about people’s views of local taxation at the moment, and how this might change.
This survey was made available on the Commission’s website and promoted through events, social media and coverage in the media. A total of 4,492 responses were received and were independently analysed by research specialists ODS Consulting.
Priorities for local taxation
Two-thirds of those surveyed say that the current system of Council Tax should be replaced, with a reformed or alternative system of local taxation based according to income and set according to the priorities of local communities.
While a majority of respondents surveyed felt that the current system of Council Tax was simple and easy to pay and understand, they also said that the system was unfair and failed to protect those who can’t afford to pay.
The survey also found that younger people (16-34), low income households and single people were more likely to have negative views on Council Tax than those on higher incomes.
Opinion was mixed on what an alternative system should look like, with a hybrid tax (based on a mix of property and land value, wealth and income) and a review of the existing council tax banding system among the options highlighted in order to create a fairer, more progressive system of local taxation.
The results are an indication of opinions from those who proactively chose to opt in to this survey and provide their views. The survey was not intended or designed to provide statistically significant results which could be extrapolated to the Scottish population. However, it hugely helped us to understand the scale of the issues which a new local tax system must address.
You can download a copy of the full independent analysis by clicking here.