A proposal which would see non-payment of Council Tax reported to credit reference agencies for the first time is the subject of a public consultation being launched by Nottingham City Council next month.

Council Tax is classed as a high priority debt and non-payment can result in serious legal consequences.

However, although debts for many other items such as consumer goods and services have a negative impact on credit ratings, the same doesn’t apply to Council Tax debt. This leads to people choosing to prioritise other debts ahead of Council Tax.

Nottingham would be the first council in the country to take this step which would mean agencies include information about non-payment on an individual’s credit report which could affect their ability to get credit in the future.

City Council Deputy Leader Councillor Graham Chapman, said: “Around £8 million of Council Tax is currently not collected within the year which costs the Council more money to chase and collect.

“People not paying their Council Tax means others have to pay more and reduces the funding available for vital services.

“It’s important to stress that where people are struggling to pay because they are in genuine financial difficulties, the Council will always try to come to a reasonable agreement based on their individual circumstances. However many who are struggling financially do manage to pay, and some who are not do not pay. And it is those in particular we are interested in ‘encouraging’.

“Council tax pays for elderly care, for child protection as well as for the street services that everyone benefits from, so we have a duty to all Council Tax payers to ensure that everyone pays their share. We are consulting on this proposed change.”

The consultation takes place from 2 to 30 November 2015. To complete the survey online, visit www.nottinghamcity.gov.uk/CFRsurvey

For a printed copy of the survey, please email engage@nottinghamcity.gov.uk or phone 0115 8763342.