Important Changes to Council Tax for 2013
There are some important changes to Council Tax from 1 April 2013. This is a result of a change in legislation to allow discounts to be decided by the Local Authority.
Properties that are unoccupied and furnished, commonly referred to as second homes, will no longer receive a 10% discount. From 1 April 2013 these properties will be liable for a full charge.
Unoccupied and unfurnished properties
From 1 April 2013 properties that are unoccupied and substantially unfurnished will no longer qualify for a 6 month exemption and instead receive a discount of 100% for a maximum of one month.
Properties that are unoccupied and substantially unfurnished which require or are undergoing major repair to make them habitable will receive a 50% discount for up to 12 months rather than 100%.
Properties that are unoccupied and substantially unfurnished and have been continuously empty for more than 2 years will become subject to a premium of 50%. This is to encourage the properties to be brought back into use. Certain exclusions apply.
New way to pay
You can now request to pay your bill over 12 monthly instalments rather than 10. If you wish to take up this option you will need to call us before 11 April 2013.
Changes to Council Tax Benefit
On 1 April 2013 Council Tax Benefit was replaced by the Council Tax Support scheme (also known as Council Tax Reduction). This new local scheme was agreed for 12 months by the Council and continued to provide help to those on a limited income by reducing their Council Tax by up to 100%.
A new scheme beginning April 2014 has recently been agreed by the Council. For more information please see "Changes agreed to local council tax scheme".
If you think you may qualify for help with your Council Tax please call us. If you have an existing claim for Council Tax Benefit you do not have to make a new claim, this will automatically be transferred to the new scheme.