As South Ayrshire Council gets set to decide whether to increase Council Tax for the first time in ten years, it will issue letters this week to households in the highest Council Tax bands that will be affected by Council Tax increases agreed by the Scottish Government.
The government has introduced legislation to change Council Tax for properties in bands E to H, which comes into force from 1 April 2017 and will be implemented regardless of whether the Council increases Council Tax or not.
Almost 18,000 households in South Ayrshire will see their Council Tax bills increase between 7.5% and 22.5% as a result of these revisions to the highest Council Tax bands. This equates to an annual increase of around £100 to £500 per household, based on current Council Tax charges.
Council Tax charges are based on the valuation 'band' of your property. The bands range from Band A to Band H, with all bands having a relationship with band D. This is known as the multiplier. The Scottish Government's legislation changes the Council Tax multipliers for properties in bands E to H.
The Council has no local discretion to change this.
Councillor Bill McIntosh, Leader of South Ayrshire Council, said: "The Scottish Government multiplier changes will have a significant impact on a number of households and we're keen to ensure our residents understand what changes are being made at a national level and how it will affect them.
"However, as the Council has yet to set its budget and confirm Council Tax levels, it's important for people to remember that the letters only provide an indication of their new charges.
"The figures are based on 2016/17 Council Tax levels, so don't take account of any increase that may be agreed by the Council when we set our budget on 2 March 2017. They also don't include Scottish Water charges for water and sewerage, which are not affected by the change in the multiplier.
"Definitive Council Tax charges will be confirmed when the 2017/18 Council Tax Demand Notices issue around mid-March 2017 and these will confirm how much Council Tax each household needs to pay in 2017/18."
Further information on the Council Tax changes for bands E to H is available here.