Blackpool is third worst in the country when it comes to paying council tax

Blackpool had the third worst council tax collection rate in the country in the last financial year, it has been revealed.

Tuesday, 20th July 2021, 12:30 pm
Less council tax was collected in 2020/21

Councillors were told the rate had dropped to 87.8 per cent in 2020/21, down from 91.5 per cent the previous year.

By contrast neighbouring Fylde – which shares its council tax collection service with Blackpool – had a rate of 95.2 per cent in 2020/21.

Blackpool Council’s director of resources Steve Thompson told a meeting of the Scrutiny Leadership Board the figures reflected the difficulties faced in Blackpool, which had worsened during the Covid epidemic.

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He said: “When you think we have a shared service with Fylde – same staff, same managers, same systems – that is a stark difference.”

Only Liverpool and Hackney had worse collection rates than Blackpool.

The business rates collection rate had dropped from 95.6 per cent in 2019/20 to 85.8 per cent in the last financial year.

This was the 14th lowest collection rate in the country, although local authorities with a worse rate than Blackpool including Kensington and Chelsea.

Mr Thompson said the council intended a ‘robust’ response to the situation once the Covid pandemic was over with particularly strong measures against anyone who refused to pay compared to those who could not pay.

Income from council tax, which this year has increased by 4.9 per cent, is vital to funding services across the borough.

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