NOTE: This content is old - Published: Thursday, Jun 21st, 2012.
Wrexham Council is owed over £4.6m in unpaid council tax new figures have revealed.
Whilst the council successfully collected 96.5% of tax owed between 2011/12 the total arrears owed up to the end of March hit £4,683,000.
Mark Owen, Head of Finance at Wrexham Council said that authority collected £48m of the £49.7m owed last year leaving £1.7m outstanding.
In Wales as a whole the outstanding council tax bill stands at a whopping £84m in total with £37m uncollected in 2011/12.
A Welsh AM has claimed that the uncollected bills are pushing council tax up for those who do pay.
Janet Finch-Saunders AM, Shadow Minister for Local Government said: “It is grossly unfair that families in Wales are facing higher council tax bills to subsidise the minority who refuse to pay their share.
“In challenging economic times, councils should be working harder to collect unpaid taxes to limit increases in bills for hardworking and law-abiding taxpayers.
“While it may be unrealistic to expect councils to collect 100% council tax, total arrears now stand at a massive £84million – a significant sum, a fraction of which could freeze council tax for hard-pressed taxpayers.
“Welsh Ministers need to work constructively with local authorities to encourage sharing best practice so councils can raise their collection rates and use the savings to reinvest in frontline services and reduce council tax bills for all.”
Wrexham Council’s Head of Finance insisted that 99% of the outstanding amount will be collected within three years of the bill being raised and that the council would pursue all outstanding arrears.