Council tax prices in most Scottish council areas have been frozen at last year’s levels.
The Scottish government announced incentives to councils if they did not raise their tax prices
All Scottish councils, bar Glasgow, have agreed to the freeze, with Scotland’s largest city council set to agree to the freeze on March 11.
Councils will instead be handed the equivalent of a 3% rise in taxes by the Scottish government.
The council tax pause forms a key part in the government’s economic recovery plan in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.
How much will I pay in 2021?
The new council tax year gets underway on April 1, 2021.
The price of council tax varies by region with band prices listed on local councils’ websites.
There are eight council tax bands in Scotland, ranging from A (the lowest) to H (the highest).
The price of council tax for a Band D property in each council area is as follows:
Aberdeen City: £1,377.30Aberdeenshire: £1,300.81Angus £1,206.54Argyll and Bute: £1,367.73Clackmannanshire: £1,304.63Dumfries and Galloway: £1,222.63Dundee: £1,379.00East Ayrshire: £1,375.35East Dunbartonshire: £1,308.98East Lothian: £1,302.62East Renfrewshire: £1,289.96Edinburgh: £1,338.59Falkirk: £1,225.58Fife: £1,280.80Glasgow: £1,386.54 (TBC)Highland: £1332.33Inverclyde: £1,331.84Midlothian: £1409.00Moray: £1,322.87North Ayrshire: £1,342.69North Lanarkshire: £1,221.24Orkney Islands: £1,208.48Perth and Kinross: £1,318.10Renfrewshire: £1,315.42Scottish Borders: £1,253.91Shetland: £1,206.33South Ayrshire: £1,344.96South Lanarkshire: £1,203.09Stirling: £1,344.96West Dunbartonshire: £1,293.54Western Isles: £1,193.50West Lothian: £1,276.42
How are council tax bands decided?
Prior to the introduction of council tax, valuations of every property in the country were carried out in 1991, with tax bands allocated on the basis of these.
In 2007, an investigation by Tonight With Trevor McDonald found that millions of properties had been placed in the wrong band.
Termed as "second-gear valuations", it was revealed that valuations were often carried out by driving past homes and doing a perfunctory valuation.
As a result of the investigation, thousands of properties were re-banded, saving owners hundreds of pounds a year.
How can I find out if I'm in the wrong council tax band?
Martin Lewis, founder of Money Saving Expert first recommends asking your neighbour to find out which tax band they are in.
Alternatively you can find out your neighbour's tax band via the Scottish Assessors Association.
If they are in a lower tax band, then it may be possible that your property has been assigned the wrong band. Find out if this is the case by checking the value of your property in 1991. This can be achieved by entering a previous valuation of your house into Nationwide's House Price Index Calculator.
Once you have a 1991 valuation, compare it to the original tax bands, which can be found here.
If you believe that your property has been assigned to the wrong property band, you can apply for a reassessment. It is worth noting that your property could be moved up or down a tax band, so it is vital that you carry out an accurate valuation.
How to challenge
Scottish households can make a challenge at SAA.
This can be done by searching for a property under the "To Search for a Council Tax band tab and then selecting the property in question and then selecting "Make a Proposal".