CIOT plea

Forbes urged to unveil council tax reform plans in Budget

Kate Forbes

Budget plea: Kate Forbes

Finance Secretary Kate Forbes has been urged to use next month’s Budget to accelerate the government’s ambition to reform council tax in time for the next Scottish election.

Ministers made a pledge to reform council tax in this year’s Programme for Government.

The Chartered Institute of Taxation (CIOT) said previous attempts to reform local government taxation – most recently 2015’s Commission on Local Tax Reform – resulted in only minor reforms.

It said ministers should aim for “full consultation followed by the commencement of substantive reform during this parliament, otherwise there is a risk that reform will simply be delayed yet again.

An agreement this summer between the Scottish Government and Scottish Green Party promised to set up a Citizens’ Assembly to discuss council tax reform, but it stopped short of setting out concrete proposals for reform and a timetable for introducing legislation.

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