What is Council Tax?

What is Council Tax?

The Council Tax is a local tax set by the Council to help to pay for the services it provides. There is only one bill for each house and it has a personal component and a property component. It is based on the value of your property relative to others in your local area.

How much council tax did we collect?

  • In 2022/23 the Comhairle collected 96.42% of the council tax due in that year.
  • In 2021/22 the Comhairle collected 96.05% of the council tax due in that year.
  • In 2020/21 the Comhairle collected 95.37% of the council tax due in that year.
  • In 2019/20 the Comhairle collected 96.18% of the council tax due in that year
  • In 2018/19 the Comhairle collected 96.47% of the council tax due in that year

Changes to Legislation – Empty Homes

From 1 April 2013, the amount of Council Tax payable on a long term empty property in the Western Isles has changed. A levy equal to 100% Council Tax will be added to the bill where a property meets the criteria of being unoccupied for over 1 year.

Why has this changed?

The Scottish Government has recently brought in new laws which allow the Comhairle to charge a levy of up to 100% Council Tax on long term empty properties from 1 April 2013. The Scottish Government is keen to encourage empty home owners to bring their properties back into use to increase the supply of housing in Scotland and to help tackle the shortage of affordable housing. The relevant legislation, SSI 2013 No 45, The Council Tax (Variation for Unoccupied Dwellings) (Scotland) regulations 2013 which allows for this change can be found at www.legislation.gov.uk (Opens in a new window or downloads a file)

Are there any unoccupied properties which are not going to have the levy applied?

Second homes which are furnished and can be evidenced to be occupied for at least 25 days a year are not included. Other empty properties where an exemption from Council Tax applies such as properties where the last person who lived there is now in residential care are not affected by this change. Long term empty properties that are being actively marketed for sale or let will not have the levy applied until two years after the date they were last occupied.