Thanet District Council is urging local people to give their views on significant changes to Council Tax and Council Tax Benefit.
The government has announced that from 1 April 2013, Council Tax Benefit will be abolished in its current form. Instead, local authorities will need to create and run a local Council Tax support scheme.
And in a further move, the Government has also announced it will enable local authorities to change discounts and exemptions given for Council Tax. These changes mainly affect empty properties and second homes.
The council has been consulting on a proposed local Council Tax support scheme since July. This scheme aims to reduce the impact on benefit customers by removing some Council Tax discounts and exemptions.
The main proposals are to:
- Reduce working age Council Tax benefit awards by between 5% and 6%.
- Remove the Council Tax discount for second home owners (currently 10 %).
- Remove the Council Tax exemption for empty and unfurnished properties (currently 100%).
- Discontinue second adult rebate for working age claimants.
There will also be no change to the Council Tax exemption for properties undergoing major structural repair. Single person discount for those living on their own is unaffected by the changes.
The full set of proposals can be found on the council’s website at www.thanet.gov.uk/counciltaxchanges. Paper copies can also be collected from any council office or library and can also be requested by calling the central information line on 01227 862310.
The consultation started in July and ends on Monday 17 September 2012.
Thanet's Gateway Plus, Cecil Street, Margate is open from Monday to Friday 9am to 6pm (8pm on Thursday) and Saturday 9am to 5pm. The Ramsgate District Office, 14 York Street, Ramsgate is open Monday to Friday 8.45am to 12.30pm