Local Council Tax Support
In April 2013 council tax benefit, the current means of helping people on low incomes meet their council tax, will be replaced by a new local council tax support scheme.
Local councils are required to design their own schemes to provide help to people with low incomes pay their council tax.
The government has said that there will be no change to the amount of help pensioners currently receive. People who have reached the age for state pension credit will be assessed under a national scheme which will be decided by the government. The national scheme is likely to be very similar to the current one.
Under the existing council tax benefit scheme, the council generally receives 100% funding from the government to cover the cost of the scheme. However, under the new local scheme the council will receive from government a maximum of 90% grant toward what is paid out. The 10% reduction in funding for South Gloucestershire Council is anticipated to be £1.4 million for 2013/14.
This means that if there is an increase in the number of households claiming council tax support, the amount it costs the council will go up but the amount of money received from the government will not.
Each local authority is required to carry out a consultation exercise on their draft scheme and must define and publish it. The local council tax support scheme must be agreed by 31 January 2013. If the scheme is not approved by this date, a default scheme will be imposed by the government and in these circumstances the 10% funding reduction will need to be met from other sources, for example, increasing council tax levels or reducing other services.
Our local council tax support scheme proposals to be adopted from April 2013
We propose to adopt a local council tax support scheme which is broadly similar to the current national council tax benefit scheme. This will maintain the premiums and personal allowances for 2012/13 with the exception of removing the second adult rebate.
Second adult rebate can be claimed by people whose own income is too high to receive council tax benefit but have other adult(s) in the household whose income is low.
This will not cover the short fall in grant in 2013/14 and will require the council to find savings elsewhere in order to fund the scheme. Rather than reduce front line services to meet this shortfall in funding the council is proposing to review some of the council tax discounts and exemptions that apply to second homes and empty properties.
All existing Council Tax Benefit claims will automatically be transferred to the new local council tax support scheme on 1 April 2013 so you will not need to make a new application. However customers are reminded that it is their responsibility to inform the council of any changes in their circumstance.
For more detailed information you can view the draft Council Tax Support Scheme regulations
Have your say
We want to ensure that all residents (including organisations and voluntary groups) have an opportunity to have their say aboutSouth Gloucestershire’s proposed replacement for council tax benefit.
For further information about the council’s proposals and to have your say, you can:
- Download the consultation leaflet and complete an online survey
- Pick up a copy of the consultation document and survey from one of our one stop shops or your local library
- E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Call: 01454 868002
- You can also view and comment on the draft Equality Impact Assessment
We want to ensure that your needs are met. If you would like this information in any other format, please contact us. For example, you may wish to receive this document in Braille, audio tape, large print, computer disk or community languages. Telephone: 01454 868009 or Email: email@example.com
The consultation is open from 9 July until 7 October 2012.
This consultation has now closed and our consultation report is now available.
9 Jul 2012 at 00:00
7 Oct 2012 at 23:59
01 Dec 2012
Draft council tax support scheme regulations
This guide is intended for professional and voluntary advisers and for members of the public who want to know more about council tax support (CTS). The guide gives a detailed explanation of the CTS rules. It cannot cover every situation or problem, or provide a full interpretation of the rules in all cases, so it cannot be treated as a complete and authoritative statement of the law.
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