Page last updated at 01:27 GMT, Thursday, 3 September 2009 02:27 UK

Probe into local taxation options

Council tax bill - generic
Ministers did not win enough support for their plan to scrap council tax

An inquiry examining options for local taxation has been launched.

It is being conducted by the Institute of Revenues, Rating and Valuation, which represents local taxation officials working in Scottish councils.

The inquiry will look at "key" funding options, such as property-based taxes, which do not "sacrifice the financial stability of local authority services".

In February, the Scottish Government dropped its plan to abolish the council tax in favour of a local income tax.

The proposal, to replace council tax with a 3p local income tax, was a key pledge in the SNP's 2007 manifesto.

But it was forced to drop the plans after failing to win enough support in parliament.

Finance Secretary John Swinney has said legislation to bring in a local income tax would not be introduced until after the next Scottish election.

The move was announced as the IRRV stages its Scottish conference in Crieff.

'The bedrock'

The institute, which represents the people who administer council tax and non-domestic rates systems, will issue its report in September.

Brian Jeffrey, the body's Scottish association president, said: "A stable and fair local taxation system is the bedrock for high-quality local authority service provision.

"It is vitally important that any system properly takes into account the ability to pay.

"We have an opportunity to be bold and innovative and to tailor a local taxation system that suits the needs of the Scottish people, without sacrificing the financial stability of local authority services."

The organisation's national president Julie Holden said: "I am delighted that IRRV Scotland is to play an important role in the current debate about the structure of the local taxation system in Scotland.

"It is important that the professional organisation for those who manage and administer the current systems should express its perspectives on the viability of the various options for change."

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