IN the months running up to the new financial year, Thurrock Council contacted over 12,000 households, some of these households were facing having to pay council tax for the first time, or a larger proportion than they had previously.
Of those 12,000 households around a fifth have not got in contact with the council.
Cllr Phil Smith, portfolio holder for central services, said: “For the first time since the 1990s we have had to send out more bills to many people.
“The only group of people rightly excluded are pensioners receiving guaranteed pension credit – everyone else will have to pay something towards the council tax.”
He added: “I would urge each and every one of the 2,200 or so households who have not yet contacted the council to get in touch.
“We have a legal duty to collect the money and we all have a legal duty to pay it. There are various ways payment can be made.
“I would urge people to call the team as this is probably the best way for early resolution if you are genuinely facing difficulties paying your council tax bill.
Council Tax is one of the few bills that people receive for which the penalty for non-payment can be imprisonment, we can make it less painful for people to pay the bill. There are various payment methods available, all someone needs to do is contact us so that a suitable method of payment can be agreed.
He said Thurrock Council has a good record of collecting council tax and offers various ways of paying it.
Cllr Smith added: “One of the things to remember is that the more people who pay the bill, the smaller it needs to be – if a hundred thousand remains uncollected, that’s a hundred thousand we either have to collect from others or save in reduced services.”
Anyone who has received a letter and wants to contact the team should call 01375 652875.