Council Tax - Council Tax Reduction Scheme
On the 8th January 2020 City Council agreed to the following changes to our Council Tax Reduction Scheme. Information about this is provided here to help people who are affected understand what is happening to support them.
Changes to our scheme for 2020/21
1. To rename the Income Bands to 1,2,3 and 4
Following feedback from our customers we will rename the income bands to 1,2,3 and 4 to remove the confusion between this and council tax property valuation bands which are named A to H. There is no impact associated with this change.
The following table shows how the bands will be renamed.
2. To amend the date of a change in circumstance from the date it occurs:
Currently the rules for change in circumstances in our Council Tax Reduction scheme mirror those of Housing benefit which means that a change is applied on the Monday following the change. Customer feedback indicates that this is complicated and confusing, we are amending this so that change in circumstances are applied from the actual date of change. This will mirror the rules for council tax discounts and exemptions.
3. Increase income band values by 3% in 2020/21 and then each year after by September Retail Price Index % (RPI%):
We have not increased our income banded values for two years and as wages and benefits have started to increase, we need to reflect this in our scheme so that we can maximise support for our residents. Our income bands will increase each year in line with the retail price index percentage.
The changes to the income bands for 2020/21 will be:
Income Band £
Income Band £
Family with 1
Family with 2+
|Band 1 90%||Relevant benefit||0.00 to 120.00||0.00 to 165.00||0.00 to 215.00||0.00 to 270.00|
|Band 2 85%||N/A||120.01 to 160.00||165.01 to 205.00||215.01 to 260.00||270.01 to 310.00|
|Band 3 50%||N/A||160.01 to 240.00||205.01 to 280.00||260.01 to 340.00||310.01 to 380.00|
|Band 4 25%||N/A||240.01 to 310.00||280.01 to 360.00||340.01 to 415.00||380.01 to 465.00|
4. Increase the non-dependant charge from £2.50 to £3.00 per week in 2020/21 and by £0.25 each year after
A flat rate charge of £2.50 per week is currently used for each non-dependant. This will be changed and increased to £3.00 to reflect increases in wages and benefits. In comparison to the Government's protected scheme for pension age people this is still less than the lowest deduction of £4.00, that is currently used. This will be changed and increased by £0.25 each year after to take account of increases in wages and benefits.
A non-dependant is a person over 18, not responsible for council tax and not disregarded.
5. Simplify the assessment of self employed income
Currently the income used in the calculation of self-employed income requires onerous documentation relating to self-employed accounts or a self-assessment and this often delays awards. The assessment is also complex for customers to understand and time consuming to process.
The new assessment calculation will be, the assessment of self-employed income by the number of hours worked multiplied by National Minimum Wage. In minimising any impact on our residents, this will be phased in and use a percentage of the National Minimum Wage over four years as follows:
|% of National Living Wage Used||70%||80%||90%||100%|
Pension age people are not affected by these changes and they will continue to have council tax reduction assessed in the same way through the Governments Council Tax Reduction default scheme.