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£4 million council tax outstanding in Crewe
SHOCK figures have revealed that almost £4million is overdue in Council Tax payments in Crewe.
The sum represents around a quarter of the entire amount of Council Tax outstanding in Cheshire East.
Figures obtained by the Guardian under the Freedom of Information Act show £3,786,742 has gone uncollected in the town out of a total of £15,223,070 owed across the borough.
But Clr Peter Raynes, cabinet member in charge of finance, has defended the council and says the authority has an ‘outstanding record’ for collecting its tax bills.
“We are in the top third of all the country’s unitary authorities,” he said.
“Over the last 10 years £1.8 billion of Council Tax has been collected, and this equates to more than 99 per cent of the amount due.
“It is impossible for any council to collect 100 per cent of its council tax and the figure of £15million that is uncollected over 10 years in Cheshire East is less than one per cent of the total.
“Typically this is because individuals are declared bankrupt or residents pass away.
“However, we remain committed to ensuring that council tax is collected. Every month we make applications to the courts.
“Following these applications, we take appropriate action to collect the debt. Typically, this could mean we instruct a bailiff or arrange for a direct deduction from pay.”
The figures will likely come as a shock to taxpaying residents who have felt the squeeze from council cutbacks.
Crewe and Nantwich MP Edward Timpson added: "Every penny of Council Tax that is not collected means a higher Council Tax for the law-abiding citizen in Crewe and Nantwich who does pay on time."
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