Councillors have written off tax debts of over £170,000 after saying there is little prospect of them being paid. They agreed to give up chasing council tax debts of £35,197.87 including where people have died, absconded or been declared bankrupt.And taxes owed by businesses of £135,835.55 dating back up to five years have been written out by Hartlepool Borough Council. John Morton, assistant director finance and customer services, told the Finance and Policy Committee: “We do have very effective recovery arrangements such that after five years we will have collected 99.3% of all council tax and 99.5% of all business rates.“Members can also be reassured that the council writes out relatively low amounts of debts that are non-recoverable.”He added: “For council tax the proposed write outs relate largely to people who have died or bankrupt cases, and for business rates the proposed write outs relate largely to sole trader bankruptcies and limited companies liquidation where obviously our prospect of recovery are very marginal.” The council collects around £44 million of council tax a year and £32.4 million in business rates.Mr Morton added in 2016-17 Hartlepool wrote out the lowest amount of council tax out of all 12 North East councils… Read full this story
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