In response to the article entitled ‘Households owe £3m council tax’ (WSCT 6 August), we would like to clarify that the £3 million figure quoted in this article is money owed over a period of 12 years.
Any figures supplied are a snapshot of arrears outstanding at any given moment in time. The figures quoted in the article are for past years and the amounts will always vary depending on what has been collected and at what stage the council is with enforcement, if appropriate, at any particular time.
It should also be noted that this figure represents money collected by West Sussex County Council, the police and parish councils as well as Horsham District Council and the proportion of outstanding debt to be collected by Horsham District Council is quite minimal.
Historically, the final debt for any given year after appropriate enforcement action and arrangements to pay off outstanding amounts has been less than £20k per annum.
I would reiterate that whilst we actively pursue unpaid council tax, we do take into account any financial difficulties people may be experiencing and we work with people to agree payment arrangements that are realistic to both parties.
The good news is that as at July 2015, for the financial year 2014/15, outstanding arrears have been reduced by some £300k and, as stated in the article, over 98 per cent of this year’s council tax payments have been collected, which is higher than the national average.
In percentage terms, between 2014/15 and 2009/10, the amount of council tax successfully collected is between 98.8 per cent and 99.8 per cent.
(Con, Pulborough and Coldwaltham) Cabinet Member for Finance and Assets, Horsham District Council, Chart Way, Horsham
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