Council Tax Support Scheme

Closes 31 Dec 2022

Opened 6 Nov 2016

Overview

What is Council Tax?

Council Tax is a local tax on domestic properties. It is set by the Council based on a property's valuation band. Each home is placed in one of eight valuation bands, based on its value as at 1st April 1991. The Council is responsible for collecting Council Tax and keeps about 13% of the income to help fund its local public services. The majority of the income collected is passed to Lancashire County Council, the Police and Fire Services, to provide other services. Council tax is a charge which is usually paid by the resident of the property.


What is Council Tax Support?

The Council Tax Support (“CTS”) Scheme helps people who have a low income, or no income, to pay their Council Tax bills. Under welfare reform changes, from April 2013 Council Tax Benefit was abolished and Councils had to develop Localised Council Tax Support schemes. The Government gave Councils less money to provide these new schemes. To date, in broad terms Lancaster City Council has chosen to maintain the same level of support that customers had been receiving for each financial year, meaning that those on the lowest income can receive up to a maximum 100% support towards their Council Tax bill.

Who is being consulted?

The Council has issued this survey to a random selection of customers but the consultation will enable anybody in the district, whether they are a recipient of CTS or not, to give an opinion and help shape the future of the scheme from April 2017.

 

 

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Who will any changes affect?

Anyone liable for Council Tax on a low income may claim CTS. If they are of working age and their circumstances fall within the categories outlined within the consultation questions, they may be affected by any changes to the scheme. The Government has confirmed that pensioners will continue to be protected from any changes and should not be worse off under any new scheme, so any changes will only affect the working age population.

How much will I be affected?

This will depend on claimants' specific circumstances, and whether any changes are approved by Council.


Are other discounts and exemptions affected?

Council Tax discounts and exemptions such as the 25% single person’s discount and the exemption for people who are severely mentally impaired and live on their own will not change. A full list of Council Tax discounts and exemptions is available on the website at:
www.lancaster.gov.uk/council-tax/council-tax-reductions

Will I have to re-apply for Council Tax Support?

No, any claimant currently in receipt of CTS will receive an annual Council Tax bill explaining how much support they will be awarded from 1st April 2017 and how much they will need to pay. New customers will need to complete an application form, however. These are available online or from the Council offices.

Why we are consulting

Each year, the Council needs to review its scheme, to ensure it not only meets the needs of the local area, but also that it continues to be affordable. This year the Council is consulting on some comparatively minor changes to the CTS Scheme primarily so that it is kept in line with the Housing Benefit Scheme, to ensure consistency and reduce confusion for claimants.

Give Us Your Views on the Council Tax Support Scheme

Events

  • Public Meeting

    From 24 Nov 2016 at 14:00 to 24 Nov 2016 at 16:00

    Local citizens are invited to ask questions and voice their views on the Council Tax Support Scheme at the Town Hall.

Areas

  • All Areas

Audiences

  • Anyone from any background

Interests

  • Business