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Council Tax Consultation

Dear Partner Organisation

I appreciate that you will have lots of demands on your time but it’s really important that you let us know what you think about changes to the council tax reduction scheme. It will only take about 20 minutes to complete the survey.

This is a complex issue and the council needs to balance the need to find savings alongside the need to protect vulnerable residents. To help us achieve that balance it is important that we understand your views on possible changes to the Council Tax Reduction Scheme before any decision is made.

A more detailed explanation regarding the changes being considered and their impact is available here, and we have also undertaken an Equality Impact Assessment, the details of which are available here.

Please fill in the consultation before it closes on Wednesday 24 August.

Click to take part in the Consultation

If you would rather talk to us about the changes please feel free to phone us on 01622 602491.

Kind Regards

Regards

Stephen McGinnes

Director of Mid Kent Services (interim)


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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