Highland Council tax rates frozen for 2021/22

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Elected members agreed that there will be no increase applied to Council Tax rates for the next financial year.

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Council tax rates in the Highland Council area will remain at the current levels for a further year.

The decision was taken at a meeting of the council last week with the option to freeze the tax made possible due to funding provided by Scottish Government to alleviate a shortfall in the budget.

Councillor Matthew Reiss, vice chairman of the Corporate Resources Committee, said:  ‘It is essential we help protect low income families and household incomes within Highland and receipt of Scottish Government funding this year means we can do this for the new financial year.

‘I understand many individuals continue to face on-going financial pressures as a result of the pandemic. I would therefore encourage Highland residents to check if they are entitled to any financial assistance – particularly council tax reduction – to reduce bills and maximise household income.’

Lead budget spokesperson for the opposition Councillor Ian Cockburn said:  ‘This is undoubtedly a robust budget with the best intentions for our ommunities and residents at its heart.

‘The council remains committed to supporting Highland residents and businesses recover from the impact of this crisis through continued investment in communities and the local economy.’

Council tax charges for 2021/22 – along with the revised Scottish Water service charges – will be published on Highland Council’s website soon.

Council tax reduction is available for those on low incomes and can reduce payments by up to 100 per cent.

Households who are currently paying their council tax by direct debit do not need to cancel or change their existing payment amount as this will be updated automatically from April 1 2021.

Information, including how to pay and how to reduce council tax bills, is available at www.highland.gov.uk/counciltax.