Council Tax Support Survey – proposed scheme for 2018/19

Council Tax support survey – proposed scheme for 2018/19

Respond to our proposal

What is the council tax support survey for?

North Kesteven District Council is currently considering how it can fund the Council Tax Support (CTS) scheme from April 2018 and proposes a number of changes to the current scheme.

Before making a scheme, North Kesteven District Council are required to consult with any person we consider are likely to have an interest in the operation of the scheme.

The consultation period ends on 17 November 2017. Councillors will decide the final shape of the Council Tax Support scheme for 2018/19 when they meet in January 2018. We want the views from residents whether they get Council Tax Support or not to ensure we make an informed decision.

What is council tax?

Council tax is a local tax set by the council based on the value of a property as at April 1991. North Kesteven District Council is responsible for collecting this tax which is used to fund local public services. The money is also collected on behalf of Lincolnshire County Council, Lincolnshire Fire Authority and the Police and Crime Commissioner to fund their services.

What is council tax support?

Council Tax Support is a discount scheme offered by all English authorities to support low income families, pensioners, and vulnerable customers with the cost of Council Tax. The amount of discount you receive will depend on a person’s circumstances, including income, savings, members of the household and Council Tax Band and will be applied as a reduction to council tax bills. It was introduced following the abolition of council tax benefit (CTB).

The scheme for 2017/18

North Kesteven District Council made one change to their council tax support Scheme in 2017/18. This change was to disregard all child maintenance income. For 2017/18, North Kesteven’s’ Scheme took into account the following: -

  • Protection of changes for those in a Protected Group
  • Second Adult Rebate available for pensioners and protect groups only
  • Capital limit of £8,000
  • Minimum entitlement threshold of £3.50 per week
  • Entitlement capped at Band D liability (e.g. a customer in Band E (and above) property, would have their CTS calculated on Band D liability)
  • Maximum entitlement limit of 90% of Council Tax liability
  • Income taper at 30%
  • Local income disregards
  • Local non-dependent deductions
  • Local Self-employed calculation

Why are we consulting?

Councils are required to review their council tax support schemes annually and consult on any proposed changes to them. Any changes must be agreed by 31st January of the year to which the scheme applies. The council has agreed to continue with its current scheme for the current year (2017/18) and is reviewing the scheme for 2018/19.

We are seeking the views of citizens, businesses, organisations and other interested parties on six potential options for the council tax support scheme in 2018/19. These views will be used to develop a final scheme over the coming months before a decision is made by full council.

Who will be affected?

Protection for pensioners

All households that are old enough to qualify for state pension credit are protected from any changes under a national scheme. The qualifying age under this scheme will be 64½ years old for April 2018.

Working age households

All of the options will result in working age households making a payment towards their council tax. This includes households who have not previously had to make a payment under the current scheme. How much a household pays will depend on the income they have and the option taken.

In addition to setting up a discretionary fund, the scheme could protect certain households from a reduction in support automatically. This would need to be done on the basis of household circumstances (e.g. in receipt of a war widows or war pension) or getting a certain type of benefit (e.g. disability related benefits such as Disability Living Allowance or Personal Independence Payments).

Respond to the consultation

To let us know what you think of our proposed council tax support scheme, please complete our online form.

Your views will be taken into account by the Council when they make the final decision about the support scheme in January 2018 therefore we would appreciate it if you could complete the survey by 17 November 2017.