Council will hunt down tax cheats
COUNCIL bosses are warning tax dodgers they will be "relentlessly pursued" after a Grimsby woman was jailed for failing to pay up.
Helen Shepherd was locked up for 86 days after failing to pay her council tax over a nine-year period.
Helen Shepherd was jailed after failing to pay Council Tax on her Wellington Street property over a nine-year period.
Grimsby magistrates heard Shepherd, of Wellington Street, had persistently ignored warnings to pay some of the £4,852 she owed to the council.
Shepherd was first summonsed to court for non-payment in 2004, when £728 was wiped off her debt and she was ordered to make regular payments. However, she failed to adhere to the agreement and evaded the council for a number of years, when her debts mounted further.
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She appeared back at court in March when she was ordered to pay £20 per week, but failed to do so.
Councillor Daniel Khan, North East Lincolnshire Council's portfolio holder for finance, said: "Collection of council tax is important as this pays for vital council services and we have a duty to those that do pay to ensure everyone pays.
"We pursue those who won't pay their council tax rigorously, as this case shows."
Currently, £6.7-million is owed to the authority in unpaid council tax, dating back to 1993.
However, bosses say that almost 98 per cent of council tax is collected every year – which will this year total £57-million.
Cllr Khan said: "We work hard to help those who genuinely can't pay their council tax and I would encourage anyone who is experiencing difficulties to contact us at the earliest opportunity and we will do all that we can to assist them."