Council Tax and Business Rates Budget information

The Council's Net Budget Requirement for 2018/19 is £106,545,536 compared to £104,837,350 in 2017/18.

The Council's gross financial expenditure for 2018/19 is £303,706,220 compared to £304,237,283 in 2017/18, a reduction of £531,063. The reduction in the Councils spending power is due to the savings needed to balance the revenue budget due to the governments austerity measures and demand/inflationary pressures. In addition there are a number of cuts in specific grant funding to services which will impact on the Councils total expenditure. More details of the revenue budget setting process can be found in the Borough Council Meeting agenda papers on 1st March 2018. A link to the meeting minutes is below.

The Council Tax Requirement for 2018/19 is £58,889,057 compared to £55,790,911 in 2017/18, an increase of £3,098,246. The increase is due to a 3.99% increase in Council Tax billing and growth in the Council Tax Base.

The Band D charge for 2018/19 is £1,516.86 (including the Adult Social Care Precept) compared to £1,458.61 in 2017/18, an increase of £58.25 (3.99%). This can be broken down between a £29.17 increase in the precept specifically to fund rising adult social care costs (2.00%) and a £29.08 increase for the main element of the Council Tax of (1.99%).

The Adult Social Care Precept was introduced by the Government in 2016/17 to allow Council's to raise additional Council Tax to fund ongoing cost increases in this area. This was previously capped at 2% but increased to 3% as part of the Local Government Finance Settlement (capped to 6% over the next three financial years). The Council is increasing the precept by 2% rather than adopting the option to front load the increase. The Social Care precept of £3,266,653 will fund part of these costs and will be ring-fenced so it can be used exclusively for this purpose.

Council tax Discounts and Exemptions

There are no discretionary discounts or exemptions that can be offered on empty domestic dwellings. This is because the Councils finances do not allow for these reductions to be made. The decision to remove these reductions was part of a wider budget decision made by the Borough Council on 7 March 2013. Some mandatory exemptions may still apply.

In cases where properties have been continuously empty for over 2 years the Council will apply an additional council tax charge. This will be called an 'Empty Property Premium'. The amount of the premium will be an additional 50% of the council tax liability. Therefore, properties that have been continuously empty for 2 or more years will incur a 150% council tax charge.

The discount through the Council Tax Support Scheme has increased from 80% to 82.5% in 2017/18. This will enable all working age claimants to be no worse off as a result of Council Tax and Adult Social Care Precept increases over each of the next three financial years, than they are now (all other circumstances being equal).

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