NEW figures show Kirklees has collected nearly all the council tax owed for last year – but £5m has yet to be paid up.
More than £132m has been collected – 96.3% of the total for 2007/08.
Officials are now chasing up the remaining £5m.
Clr Andrew Palfreeman, the council’s Cabinet member for revenues and benefits, said: “We know people don’t like paying their council tax, but it is one of the primary sources of income used to fund essential council services.
“In Kirklees we make sure that as many people as possible get the appropriate discounts and benefits to ensure they pay the correct amount and we try to make sure that everyone who should pay the tax, does so.
“This makes the council tax system as fair as possible and helps ensure we can keep annual increases as low as possible.”
Clr Palfreeman thinks Kirklees is performing well compared to its neighbours.
He said: “Although the full results for all councils aren’t yet published, we believe we will once again compare favourably with the average collection rates of the other West Yorkshire authorities.”
Kirklees also collected £4m of older debt in 2007/08.
Clr Palfreeman said: “We have a good record when it comes to collecting older council tax debt.
“Over the longer term, about 99% of the council tax due is paid to the council.
“The message from our results is clear: Please make sure you pay your council tax in good time.
“If you do not, we will use every method available to us to collect the tax and we will catch up with you.”
Kirklees also announced it takes an average of 29 days to deal with new housing benefit and council tax benefit claims.
Clr Palfreeman said: “Customers who need to claim benefit often need a quick payment from us to ensure their rent is paid. I am pleased that our council keeps on improving its benefits administration performance year-on-year, and I am confident that we shall continue to do so.”