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Court sends Flintshire residents to prison for not paying Council Tax

Published: 16/09/2015

There are over 67,000 residents in Flintshire liable to pay Council Tax and although the majority pay their Council Tax bills, there is a small number who refuse or neglect to pay. In extreme cases, residents who have previously been through the courts as part of Liability Order hearings but who still refuse or neglect to make payment are sometime referred back to the courts as part of committal hearings The Courts are then asked to consider whether the resident is guilty of wilful refusal or culpable neglect. If the Courts find that a resident has deliberately refused or neglected to pay, Magistrates have powers to impose custodial prison sentences of up to a maximum of 90 days. The recent imprisonment of two Flintshire residents, one for 90 days and another for 40 days, for neglecting to pay Council Tax has highlighted the importance of making payment or at least coming to sensible payment agreements with the Council. Clare Budden, Chief Officer for Community and Enterprise said: “Taking court action is a last resort and we always prefer to work with residents or their debt advice workers to resolve payment issues before cases are referred back to the courts. We will always pursue those who fail or refuse to pay their Council Tax, and as these cases show, continued non-payment can result in serious consequences or even imprisonment.