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Council Tax Consultation

Dear Resident,

I am writing to invite you to take part in a consultation on the future of the Council Tax Reduction Scheme.

Tunbridge Wells Borough Council has a difficult financial situation to manage over the coming years and will have to make savings. Part of these savings could come from reducing the amount of financial help that we provide through Council Tax Support. If these savings are not made the savings will have to be found from somewhere else.

This is a complex issue and could affect the amount of council tax that some low income working age households have to pay in the future. To find out more visit the Council Tax Reduction Scheme page on our website or for a more detailed explanation download the Council Tax Reduction Scheme Background Information PDF.

It is important that you take part in the consultation so that your views can be taken into account when a decision is made.

Take part in the Consultation

This consultation opened 1 July 2016 and closes on 24 August 2016.

Regards

Stephen McGinnes

Head of Revenues and Benefits
Mid Kent Revenues and Benefits


Why are the Council considering changes?


Prior to April 2013, Council Tax payers could apply for Council Tax Benefit (CTB) and receive up to 100% benefit. The Council received full funding from the Government for the benefit awarded.

Changes introduced by the Government abolished the Council Tax Benefit Scheme from 1 April 2013 and made Councils responsible for setting up their own local Council Tax Reduction schemes for working age people. The Government also reduced the amount of funding given to Councils to pay for the schemes. Since 2014/15 the amount of grant funding received from Government has continued to reduce each year and from 2017/2018 the council will not receive any grant.

The estimated cost of the Scheme for 2016/17 is approximately £8.8 million. The Council's share of this cost is around 15% in line with the split of Council Tax with the County Council, Police and Fire Service. The Council has a difficult financial situation to manage over the next 5 years and will have to reduce its overall spending by £4.1 million. Some of these savings could come from reducing the amount of help provided to residents through the Council Tax Reduction Scheme.



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