£2million owed by council tax dodgers

TAX dodgers owe Castle Point Council more than £2million in unpaid council tax over the last five years.

Figures obtained by the Echo through a Freedom of Information request show the council is chasing millions in tax debts dating back to 2008.

In this financial year alone the authority is taking enforcement action to try to claw back some of the £957,327 that has built up since April 2013.

The figures also show in the last five years a whopping 22,283 people have been summonsed to court for owing council tax.

Castle Point Council says it is working hard to take action to recover both new and old debts.

A spokesman from the council said: “Enforcement action continues against those taxpayers in arrears by the use of bailiffs, attachment to earnings, attachment to benefit, charging orders, bankruptcy, committal to prison.

“The council will use the full range of legal powers available to collect outstanding council tax and will continue to do so for older debts.”

The highest amount owed by one person was more than £14,700 which was the result of fraudulent benefit claims.

The spokeswoman said: “The council has worked hard to maintain collection rates while issuing fewer summonses by offering customers a far greater choice of payment methods particularly by direct debit with weekly, fortnightly and four-weekly options becoming popular.

“The council also works closely with debt advice agencies such as Step Change and the Citizens Advice Bureau.”

Despite this, the council still maintains a 98 per cent collection rate from the borough’s 89,000 residents.

Councils across south Essex face similar problems. In 2012 Southend Council was owed £1.9million in unpaid tax from the six years before that and in 2009/10 Basildon Council took more than 5,000 to court for nonpayment.

Jeffrey Stanley, deputy leader of the council, said: “We are the collection authority for Essex County Council, Essex Police and the fire authority as well so while these numbers may look big most of those arrears belong to someone else.

“We take this responsibility very seriously and use our powers as strongly as we can to ensure everyone pays their fair share as no one should expect to receive a bill and not to have to pay it.

“We remain one of the best collection authorities in the country with a 98 per cent collection rate.”

Dave Blackwell, leader of the Canvey Independent Party, said: “I think these figures are a reflection of the times.

“The council gives ample opportunity to people who are suffering hardship to get help and advice to manage their payments.

“There is no excuse for not paying council tax, we all have to do it, and we need to do more to get that money back because that money pays for our services.”

Comments (24)

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8:10am Sun 9 Feb 14

Basildon30 says...

There are people who just flatly REFUSE to pay and there are people who CAN'T pay. There is help for people who can't pay. If you are refusing to pay you should go to prison, it's as simple as that. Unfortunately the courts are too lenient with people who refuse to pay. So where's the deterrant?
There are people who just flatly REFUSE to pay and there are people who CAN'T pay. There is help for people who can't pay. If you are refusing to pay you should go to prison, it's as simple as that. Unfortunately the courts are too lenient with people who refuse to pay. So where's the deterrant? Basildon30

11:19am Sun 9 Feb 14

upset says...

Threaten to name and shame the ones who wont pay, I bet that will focus their minds and bring in the money.
Threaten to name and shame the ones who wont pay, I bet that will focus their minds and bring in the money. upset

1:27pm Sun 9 Feb 14

Howard Cháse says...

Rogues Gallery required.....
Rogues Gallery required..... Howard Cháse

3:08pm Sun 9 Feb 14

RochfordRob says...

It's not as if the council don't know where they live is it?

I expect all the money owed has been spent on fast food if other reports about Castle Point are to be believed.

Which also means they'll be easy to catch !
It's not as if the council don't know where they live is it? I expect all the money owed has been spent on fast food if other reports about Castle Point are to be believed. Which also means they'll be easy to catch ! RochfordRob

3:48pm Sun 9 Feb 14

jolllyboy says...

How muc is due to those previously unable to pay any but now have to pay 25% ? If you havent got it you cant pay it.
How muc is due to those previously unable to pay any but now have to pay 25% ? If you havent got it you cant pay it. jolllyboy

5:31pm Sun 9 Feb 14

John T Pharro says...

jolllyboy wrote:
How muc is due to those previously unable to pay any but now have to pay 25% ? If you havent got it you cant pay it.
Why would they be unable to pay? How many are on benefits, but as in Benefits Street have the money to buy cigarettes, alcohol , ice cream from a ice cream van and fast food? There is a distinct difference between being unable to pay and those that claim they cannot and prefer to spend the taxpayers money on non essentials. When they have done that then I would have sympathy for their lot.
[quote][p][bold]jolllyboy[/bold] wrote: How muc is due to those previously unable to pay any but now have to pay 25% ? If you havent got it you cant pay it.[/p][/quote]Why would they be unable to pay? How many are on benefits, but as in Benefits Street have the money to buy cigarettes, alcohol , ice cream from a ice cream van and fast food? There is a distinct difference between being unable to pay and those that claim they cannot and prefer to spend the taxpayers money on non essentials. When they have done that then I would have sympathy for their lot. John T Pharro

5:34pm Sun 9 Feb 14

upset says...

How can cllr Stanley use the excuse that they are not just collecting CP tax, it's all the same tax, 98% is good compared to other council so why make excuses is there something to hide? The cllr protests to much.
How can cllr Stanley use the excuse that they are not just collecting CP tax, it's all the same tax, 98% is good compared to other council so why make excuses is there something to hide? The cllr protests to much. upset

5:49pm Sun 9 Feb 14

gbrepublicans says...

Basildon30 wrote:
There are people who just flatly REFUSE to pay and there are people who CAN'T pay. There is help for people who can't pay. If you are refusing to pay you should go to prison, it's as simple as that. Unfortunately the courts are too lenient with people who refuse to pay. So where's the deterrant?
Trying novel writing - you have a knack for fiction.
[quote][p][bold]Basildon30[/bold] wrote: There are people who just flatly REFUSE to pay and there are people who CAN'T pay. There is help for people who can't pay. If you are refusing to pay you should go to prison, it's as simple as that. Unfortunately the courts are too lenient with people who refuse to pay. So where's the deterrant?[/p][/quote]Trying novel writing - you have a knack for fiction. gbrepublicans

5:50pm Sun 9 Feb 14

gbrepublicans says...

upset wrote:
Threaten to name and shame the ones who wont pay, I bet that will focus their minds and bring in the money.
Does law mean nothing to people like you? I think six months in prison would help you focus.
[quote][p][bold]upset[/bold] wrote: Threaten to name and shame the ones who wont pay, I bet that will focus their minds and bring in the money.[/p][/quote]Does law mean nothing to people like you? I think six months in prison would help you focus. gbrepublicans

6:13pm Sun 9 Feb 14

ThisYear says...

RochfordRob wrote:
It's not as if the council don't know where they live is it?

I expect all the money owed has been spent on fast food if other reports about Castle Point are to be believed.

Which also means they'll be easy to catch !
I wonder if the council should do to others as they do to the usual scapegoats, if the council tax is a month behind send an officer out to remind the people.

Same with tax..send out cold callers to areas to make sure all the tax they should pay is being paid..ie check all the documents are up to date..

Im sure all would be in favour of that

Lets have a bit more hands on by the councils in regards to the wider society....or the wider society could complain they are being discriminated by not getting the same call around hands on service others get...and quite rightly too.
[quote][p][bold]RochfordRob[/bold] wrote: It's not as if the council don't know where they live is it? I expect all the money owed has been spent on fast food if other reports about Castle Point are to be believed. Which also means they'll be easy to catch ![/p][/quote]I wonder if the council should do to others as they do to the usual scapegoats, if the council tax is a month behind send an officer out to remind the people. Same with tax..send out cold callers to areas to make sure all the tax they should pay is being paid..ie check all the documents are up to date.. Im sure all would be in favour of that Lets have a bit more hands on by the councils in regards to the wider society....or the wider society could complain they are being discriminated by not getting the same call around hands on service others get...and quite rightly too. ThisYear

6:15pm Sun 9 Feb 14

Basildon30 says...

gbrepublicans wrote:
Basildon30 wrote:
There are people who just flatly REFUSE to pay and there are people who CAN'T pay. There is help for people who can't pay. If you are refusing to pay you should go to prison, it's as simple as that. Unfortunately the courts are too lenient with people who refuse to pay. So where's the deterrant?
Trying novel writing - you have a knack for fiction.
How is it fiction? There are people who have the money but think spending it on other things such as Cigarettes, nights out, even holidays is more important than paying their Council Tax, it is these people who make the Council Tax rise. If you think this doesn't happen, you'd be very much mistaken.
[quote][p][bold]gbrepublicans[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Basildon30[/bold] wrote: There are people who just flatly REFUSE to pay and there are people who CAN'T pay. There is help for people who can't pay. If you are refusing to pay you should go to prison, it's as simple as that. Unfortunately the courts are too lenient with people who refuse to pay. So where's the deterrant?[/p][/quote]Trying novel writing - you have a knack for fiction.[/p][/quote]How is it fiction? There are people who have the money but think spending it on other things such as Cigarettes, nights out, even holidays is more important than paying their Council Tax, it is these people who make the Council Tax rise. If you think this doesn't happen, you'd be very much mistaken. Basildon30

6:20pm Sun 9 Feb 14

Basildon30 says...

gbrepublicans wrote:
upset wrote:
Threaten to name and shame the ones who wont pay, I bet that will focus their minds and bring in the money.
Does law mean nothing to people like you? I think six months in prison would help you focus.
90 days is the most you can go to prison for non payment of Council Tax, not 6 months.
[quote][p][bold]gbrepublicans[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]upset[/bold] wrote: Threaten to name and shame the ones who wont pay, I bet that will focus their minds and bring in the money.[/p][/quote]Does law mean nothing to people like you? I think six months in prison would help you focus.[/p][/quote]90 days is the most you can go to prison for non payment of Council Tax, not 6 months. Basildon30

6:27pm Sun 9 Feb 14

kev1956in says...

jolllyboy wrote:
How muc is due to those previously unable to pay any but now have to pay 25% ? If you havent got it you cant pay it.
Those who do not pay still expect to receive services council tax funds provide.
[quote][p][bold]jolllyboy[/bold] wrote: How muc is due to those previously unable to pay any but now have to pay 25% ? If you havent got it you cant pay it.[/p][/quote]Those who do not pay still expect to receive services council tax funds provide. kev1956in

6:38pm Sun 9 Feb 14

RochfordRob says...

Could always turn off their street lights I suppose.
Could always turn off their street lights I suppose. RochfordRob

7:05pm Sun 9 Feb 14

John T Pharro says...

kev1956in wrote:
jolllyboy wrote:
How muc is due to those previously unable to pay any but now have to pay 25% ? If you havent got it you cant pay it.
Those who do not pay still expect to receive services council tax funds provide.
Including the benefits they are paid out of taxpayers money. No wonder the tax paying members of society get so angry. Surely if fit enough and of an age you can work there must be loads of work needing doing like cleaning up dog poo, litter, etc etc.
[quote][p][bold]kev1956in[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]jolllyboy[/bold] wrote: How muc is due to those previously unable to pay any but now have to pay 25% ? If you havent got it you cant pay it.[/p][/quote]Those who do not pay still expect to receive services council tax funds provide.[/p][/quote]Including the benefits they are paid out of taxpayers money. No wonder the tax paying members of society get so angry. Surely if fit enough and of an age you can work there must be loads of work needing doing like cleaning up dog poo, litter, etc etc. John T Pharro

8:56pm Sun 9 Feb 14

Criminal & Proud says...

Basildon30 wrote:
gbrepublicans wrote:
Basildon30 wrote:
There are people who just flatly REFUSE to pay and there are people who CAN'T pay. There is help for people who can't pay. If you are refusing to pay you should go to prison, it's as simple as that. Unfortunately the courts are too lenient with people who refuse to pay. So where's the deterrant?
Trying novel writing - you have a knack for fiction.
How is it fiction? There are people who have the money but think spending it on other things such as Cigarettes, nights out, even holidays is more important than paying their Council Tax, it is these people who make the Council Tax rise. If you think this doesn't happen, you'd be very much mistaken.
Of course those things are more important. If you can get away without paying it then why not? I cancelled my TV licence as well. F*ck em. I'm not paying that. I know it ain't much over a year, but it's the principal. If everyone came together and stopped paying council tax all together, what could they possibly do? Nothing. People are just to scared to do it. If you put your mind to anything you can do it or get away with it.
[quote][p][bold]Basildon30[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]gbrepublicans[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Basildon30[/bold] wrote: There are people who just flatly REFUSE to pay and there are people who CAN'T pay. There is help for people who can't pay. If you are refusing to pay you should go to prison, it's as simple as that. Unfortunately the courts are too lenient with people who refuse to pay. So where's the deterrant?[/p][/quote]Trying novel writing - you have a knack for fiction.[/p][/quote]How is it fiction? There are people who have the money but think spending it on other things such as Cigarettes, nights out, even holidays is more important than paying their Council Tax, it is these people who make the Council Tax rise. If you think this doesn't happen, you'd be very much mistaken.[/p][/quote]Of course those things are more important. If you can get away without paying it then why not? I cancelled my TV licence as well. F*ck em. I'm not paying that. I know it ain't much over a year, but it's the principal. If everyone came together and stopped paying council tax all together, what could they possibly do? Nothing. People are just to scared to do it. If you put your mind to anything you can do it or get away with it. Criminal & Proud

10:32pm Sun 9 Feb 14

Basildon30 says...

Criminal & Proud wrote:
Basildon30 wrote:
gbrepublicans wrote:
Basildon30 wrote:
There are people who just flatly REFUSE to pay and there are people who CAN'T pay. There is help for people who can't pay. If you are refusing to pay you should go to prison, it's as simple as that. Unfortunately the courts are too lenient with people who refuse to pay. So where's the deterrant?
Trying novel writing - you have a knack for fiction.
How is it fiction? There are people who have the money but think spending it on other things such as Cigarettes, nights out, even holidays is more important than paying their Council Tax, it is these people who make the Council Tax rise. If you think this doesn't happen, you'd be very much mistaken.
Of course those things are more important. If you can get away without paying it then why not? I cancelled my TV licence as well. F*ck em. I'm not paying that. I know it ain't much over a year, but it's the principal. If everyone came together and stopped paying council tax all together, what could they possibly do? Nothing. People are just to scared to do it. If you put your mind to anything you can do it or get away with it.
And this response is everything that's wrong with today's society. I'm sure your parents are proud. I have you've not given the world any of your offspring.
[quote][p][bold]Criminal & Proud[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Basildon30[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]gbrepublicans[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Basildon30[/bold] wrote: There are people who just flatly REFUSE to pay and there are people who CAN'T pay. There is help for people who can't pay. If you are refusing to pay you should go to prison, it's as simple as that. Unfortunately the courts are too lenient with people who refuse to pay. So where's the deterrant?[/p][/quote]Trying novel writing - you have a knack for fiction.[/p][/quote]How is it fiction? There are people who have the money but think spending it on other things such as Cigarettes, nights out, even holidays is more important than paying their Council Tax, it is these people who make the Council Tax rise. If you think this doesn't happen, you'd be very much mistaken.[/p][/quote]Of course those things are more important. If you can get away without paying it then why not? I cancelled my TV licence as well. F*ck em. I'm not paying that. I know it ain't much over a year, but it's the principal. If everyone came together and stopped paying council tax all together, what could they possibly do? Nothing. People are just to scared to do it. If you put your mind to anything you can do it or get away with it.[/p][/quote]And this response is everything that's wrong with today's society. I'm sure your parents are proud. I have you've not given the world any of your offspring. Basildon30

10:36pm Sun 9 Feb 14

ThisYear says...

John T Pharro wrote:
kev1956in wrote:
jolllyboy wrote:
How muc is due to those previously unable to pay any but now have to pay 25% ? If you havent got it you cant pay it.
Those who do not pay still expect to receive services council tax funds provide.
Including the benefits they are paid out of taxpayers money. No wonder the tax paying members of society get so angry. Surely if fit enough and of an age you can work there must be loads of work needing doing like cleaning up dog poo, litter, etc etc.
Doesn't everyone pay tax in this country?
[quote][p][bold]John T Pharro[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]kev1956in[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]jolllyboy[/bold] wrote: How muc is due to those previously unable to pay any but now have to pay 25% ? If you havent got it you cant pay it.[/p][/quote]Those who do not pay still expect to receive services council tax funds provide.[/p][/quote]Including the benefits they are paid out of taxpayers money. No wonder the tax paying members of society get so angry. Surely if fit enough and of an age you can work there must be loads of work needing doing like cleaning up dog poo, litter, etc etc.[/p][/quote]Doesn't everyone pay tax in this country? ThisYear

6:58am Mon 10 Feb 14

Happy Chickie says...

Basildon30 wrote:
There are people who just flatly REFUSE to pay and there are people who CAN'T pay. There is help for people who can't pay. If you are refusing to pay you should go to prison, it's as simple as that. Unfortunately the courts are too lenient with people who refuse to pay. So where's the deterrant?
Why prison? They will still be fed and housed on the back of the taxpayer.

No, those who refuse to pay should be made to work off the debt, cleaning litter, graffiti etc whilst wearing a hi-vis jacket that has "council tax dodger" written on the back.
[quote][p][bold]Basildon30[/bold] wrote: There are people who just flatly REFUSE to pay and there are people who CAN'T pay. There is help for people who can't pay. If you are refusing to pay you should go to prison, it's as simple as that. Unfortunately the courts are too lenient with people who refuse to pay. So where's the deterrant?[/p][/quote]Why prison? They will still be fed and housed on the back of the taxpayer. No, those who refuse to pay should be made to work off the debt, cleaning litter, graffiti etc whilst wearing a hi-vis jacket that has "council tax dodger" written on the back. Happy Chickie

9:10am Mon 10 Feb 14

Criminal & Proud says...

Happy Chickie wrote:
Basildon30 wrote:
There are people who just flatly REFUSE to pay and there are people who CAN'T pay. There is help for people who can't pay. If you are refusing to pay you should go to prison, it's as simple as that. Unfortunately the courts are too lenient with people who refuse to pay. So where's the deterrant?
Why prison? They will still be fed and housed on the back of the taxpayer.

No, those who refuse to pay should be made to work off the debt, cleaning litter, graffiti etc whilst wearing a hi-vis jacket that has "council tax dodger" written on the back.
That's against people's human rights.
[quote][p][bold]Happy Chickie[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Basildon30[/bold] wrote: There are people who just flatly REFUSE to pay and there are people who CAN'T pay. There is help for people who can't pay. If you are refusing to pay you should go to prison, it's as simple as that. Unfortunately the courts are too lenient with people who refuse to pay. So where's the deterrant?[/p][/quote]Why prison? They will still be fed and housed on the back of the taxpayer. No, those who refuse to pay should be made to work off the debt, cleaning litter, graffiti etc whilst wearing a hi-vis jacket that has "council tax dodger" written on the back.[/p][/quote]That's against people's human rights. Criminal & Proud

1:08pm Mon 10 Feb 14

pembury53 says...

misleading title..... most people would 'dodge' tax given half a chance
misleading title..... most people would 'dodge' tax given half a chance pembury53

7:27pm Mon 10 Feb 14

ThisYear says...

pembury53 wrote:
misleading title..... most people would 'dodge' tax given half a chance
The vast majority only pay the tax they are forced to, yet take on all superior because of that LOL.
[quote][p][bold]pembury53[/bold] wrote: misleading title..... most people would 'dodge' tax given half a chance[/p][/quote]The vast majority only pay the tax they are forced to, yet take on all superior because of that LOL. ThisYear

8:36pm Mon 10 Feb 14

upset says...

Basildon30 wrote:
Criminal & Proud wrote:
Basildon30 wrote:
gbrepublicans wrote:
Basildon30 wrote:
There are people who just flatly REFUSE to pay and there are people who CAN'T pay. There is help for people who can't pay. If you are refusing to pay you should go to prison, it's as simple as that. Unfortunately the courts are too lenient with people who refuse to pay. So where's the deterrant?
Trying novel writing - you have a knack for fiction.
How is it fiction? There are people who have the money but think spending it on other things such as Cigarettes, nights out, even holidays is more important than paying their Council Tax, it is these people who make the Council Tax rise. If you think this doesn't happen, you'd be very much mistaken.
Of course those things are more important. If you can get away without paying it then why not? I cancelled my TV licence as well. F*ck em. I'm not paying that. I know it ain't much over a year, but it's the principal. If everyone came together and stopped paying council tax all together, what could they possibly do? Nothing. People are just to scared to do it. If you put your mind to anything you can do it or get away with it.
And this response is everything that's wrong with today's society. I'm sure your parents are proud. I have you've not given the world any of your offspring.
He had no parents, you know what I mean?
[quote][p][bold]Basildon30[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Criminal & Proud[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Basildon30[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]gbrepublicans[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Basildon30[/bold] wrote: There are people who just flatly REFUSE to pay and there are people who CAN'T pay. There is help for people who can't pay. If you are refusing to pay you should go to prison, it's as simple as that. Unfortunately the courts are too lenient with people who refuse to pay. So where's the deterrant?[/p][/quote]Trying novel writing - you have a knack for fiction.[/p][/quote]How is it fiction? There are people who have the money but think spending it on other things such as Cigarettes, nights out, even holidays is more important than paying their Council Tax, it is these people who make the Council Tax rise. If you think this doesn't happen, you'd be very much mistaken.[/p][/quote]Of course those things are more important. If you can get away without paying it then why not? I cancelled my TV licence as well. F*ck em. I'm not paying that. I know it ain't much over a year, but it's the principal. If everyone came together and stopped paying council tax all together, what could they possibly do? Nothing. People are just to scared to do it. If you put your mind to anything you can do it or get away with it.[/p][/quote]And this response is everything that's wrong with today's society. I'm sure your parents are proud. I have you've not given the world any of your offspring.[/p][/quote]He had no parents, you know what I mean? upset

8:38pm Mon 10 Feb 14

upset says...

Criminal & Proud wrote:
Happy Chickie wrote:
Basildon30 wrote:
There are people who just flatly REFUSE to pay and there are people who CAN'T pay. There is help for people who can't pay. If you are refusing to pay you should go to prison, it's as simple as that. Unfortunately the courts are too lenient with people who refuse to pay. So where's the deterrant?
Why prison? They will still be fed and housed on the back of the taxpayer.

No, those who refuse to pay should be made to work off the debt, cleaning litter, graffiti etc whilst wearing a hi-vis jacket that has "council tax dodger" written on the back.
That's against people's human rights.
They are not human and neither are you so no rights.
[quote][p][bold]Criminal & Proud[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Happy Chickie[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Basildon30[/bold] wrote: There are people who just flatly REFUSE to pay and there are people who CAN'T pay. There is help for people who can't pay. If you are refusing to pay you should go to prison, it's as simple as that. Unfortunately the courts are too lenient with people who refuse to pay. So where's the deterrant?[/p][/quote]Why prison? They will still be fed and housed on the back of the taxpayer. No, those who refuse to pay should be made to work off the debt, cleaning litter, graffiti etc whilst wearing a hi-vis jacket that has "council tax dodger" written on the back.[/p][/quote]That's against people's human rights.[/p][/quote]They are not human and neither are you so no rights. upset

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