Council to write off £2.5m debt
Millions more tracked down
Cash-strapped South Lanarkshire Council are set to write off nearly £2.5 million in uncollected revenue.
Councillors on the finance and corporate resources committee are expected to rubberstamp the proposal today, Wednesday.
The figure includes £ 1.14m in unpaid business rates, some dating from 2013, which are deemed to be irrecoverable because the company is in liquidation, has ceased trading or has been sequestered.
A further £422,674 in housing rents and associated charges has also been deemed unrecoverable. The vast majority of this (£ 321,677) will come from rent arrears with the rest being made up of lock- up rent, factoring arrears and housing benefit overpayments.
Nearly £ 297,000 comes from unpaid council tax, with some debts dating from 1993. These debts relate mainly to sequestrations or people who have died.
Sundry debts totalling £614,743 will be written off. Just under £2500 relates to the BID levy.
Despite the large figures, a report to councillors will inform them the authority is well ahead of target in collecting arrears.
The council set a target of £ 2.48m in business rates arrears collection for 2015/16 but had already retrieved £3.5m up until the end of February, a massive 41.3 per cent ahead of target.
Council tax arrears collection was £3.08m for the year, having had a target of £2.9m, while £ 11.28m of sundry debt had been recovered, above the target which had been set at £11.26m.
Collection of normal council tax was below the target of 95 per cent to the end of February, with only 93.9 per cent being recovered. However, council officers say that is ahead of the 2014/15 target.
In terms of non-domestic rates and sundry debt the council was marginally ahead of its goal.
At today’s meeting councillors will be told: “Provision has been made for the financial impact of all write-offs.”
Some council tax debt dates from 1993