Council Tax 2018/19 (Tax Base, Discounts and Exemptions and Council Tax Support Scheme)
Decision Maker: Cabinet, Council
Decision status: For Determination
Is Key decision?: Yes
Is subject to call in?: Yes
Agree Council Tax Base for Council and Precepting Authorities (including discounts and exemptions and Local Council Tax Support Scheme)
Councillor Janette Williamson (Cabinet Member for Finance and Income Generation) said:
“Ensuring the Council has enough income to provide the services residents rely upon
whilst keeping Council Tax levels at a fair and affordable level is important. We continue to protect the most vulnerable in the line with our pledge in the Wirral Plan and this is reflected in the change that sees support being given to care leavers”.
Councillor Janette Williamson introduced a report which brought together related issues regarding the proposed Council Tax-Base for 2018/19 upon which the annual billing and Council Tax levels would be set, the proposed Council Tax Discounts including Local Discounts, exemptions for 2018/19 and the Council Tax Support Scheme to be used during 2018/19. All needed to be approved by Council by 31 January 2018.
Councillor Williamson informed that on 22 July 2004 the Cabinet had awarded a local discount to Wirral Women’s and Children’s Aid. The discount left no Council Tax to pay, on the basis of the valuable work undertaken at the premises. The circumstances had remained unaltered and the cost of the award was currently £3,817. A decision was required as to whether this discount continued for 2018/19.
The Cabinet noted that as the Council Tax-Base had to be set by 31 January each year there were no other options. The Local Discounts, Exemptions and the Council Tax Support Scheme were reviewed annually and could be amended which would have a financial impact for the authority as detailed in the report.
(1) the figure of 92,255.9 be approved as the Council Tax Base for 2018/19;
(2) the level and award of each local discount for 2018/19 be as follows:
Wirral Women’s & Children’s Aid
Award the Refuge discount of 100%.
Care Leaver’s Discount
Award Care Leaver’s the requisite discount to reduce their Council Tax liability to zero until they are 25, from 1 April 2018.
Empty Property Discounts
The discount and premium rate charges remain unchanged for 2018/19:
Discount category D = 0% Full charge on properties undergoing renovations.
Discount category C = 0% Full charge on empty properties from date they become unoccupied.
Empty Property Premium = 150%. Properties empty for more than two years.
Council Tax Discretionary Relief Scheme
The Council Tax Discretionary Hardship Relief Scheme continues in its current format for 2018/19;
Council Tax Support Scheme;
(3) the Council Tax Support Scheme approved for use in 2017/18 be also approved as the Scheme for 2018/19 with additional amendments to incorporate the introduction of Full Service for Universal Credit; and
(4) a review of the Scheme be undertaken by the Business Overview and Scrutiny Committee to consider options for change of this Scheme for 2019/20 financial year.
Publication date: 10/01/2018
Date of decision: 18/12/2017
Decided at meeting: 18/12/2017 - Cabinet
Effective from: 18/01/2018