How much is poll tax
1990: One in five yet to pay poll tax
One in five people in England and Wales had paid nothing towards their community charge - or poll tax - by the end of June, a survey has revealed.
The survey carried out for the BBC is the most comprehensive so far.
It is based on information from three quarters of all authorities in England and Wales.
And it concludes that next year's poll tax bills could be more than Ј40 higher per adult because of the non-payment.
The first poll tax bills went out in April and replaced the rates system which critics say was fairer than the new charge.
Protests against the new charge culminated in violent rioting in central London in April.
Most non-payers are to be found in urban areas with 27% of Londoners yet to pay a penny.
of those liable for poll tax in the south-west, east Midlands and north-west of England have also yet to make a payment.
Experts say the level of defaulting bodes ill for next year with councils nationally facing a deficit of up to Ј1.7bn.
Environment secretary Chris Patten has already won an extra Ј3.3bn for government grants to councils next year in an effort to keep the average bill below Ј400.
But many local authorities may still be faced with the choice of either increasing the poll tax or cutting back spending on services such as health and education.
However, the government remains confident that councils will collect a lot more of the money owed before the end of the financial year.
A government spokesman said at this time last year 30% of rate payers had yet to make a payment.