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The Council

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Council Tax

Important Changes to Bailiff Law and Regulations from 6th April 2014

Council Tax Reforms

The Government, through the Local Government Finance Act 2012 replaced certain Council Tax exemptions with locally determined discounts. On 12th December 2012 the Council's Executive agreed the following policy:

Exemption / DiscountCharges applicable to 31/03/2013Charges applicable from 01/04/2013
Class A - vacant property which requires, is undergoing, or has recently undergone major repair work to make it habitable or structural alteration100% exemption  for up to 12 months whilst the qualifying conditions exist100% discount for up to 12 months whilst the qualifying conditions exist
Class C - unoccupied and unfurnished dwellings100% exemption for up to 6 months whilst the qualifying conditions exist100% discount for up to 3 months whilst the qualifying conditions exist. 100% Council Tax charge after 3 months
2nd Homes - furnished property but in which no person has their sole or main residence10% minimum statutory discount so a 90% Council Tax charge applies0% discount so a Council Tax charge of 100% will apply
Long Term Empties - property which is unoccupied and unfurnished and empty for 6 months or more10% discretionary discount so a 90% Council Tax charge applies0% discount so a Council Tax charge of 100% will apply
Empty Homes PremiumA long term empty charge of 90% lasts indefinitely until a property is brought back into use

A Long Term Premium charge of 50% will be applied to properties that have been empty for more than 24 months. This equates to 150% of the Council Tax charge

These changes were developed in consultation with the Somerset West Private Sector Housing Partnership which consists of Sedgemoor District Council, Taunton Deane Borough Council and West Somerset District Council.

The charging policy supports the aims of the partnership in bringing empty property back into use as soon as possible and provides consistency in charges across the three authorities.

There is a growing need for housing and accommodation in the area which has increased as the proposed development of Hinkley Point C continues. These charges will encourage owners to bring long term empty properties back into use to help meet increasing demand.

Although not the main purpose of these changes, they will also increase Council Tax revenue across all three authorities.

Single Persons discount on council tax bills - make sure you are claiming correctly

Across the country, The National Fraud Authority estimates fraudulent single person discounts cost councils and taxpayers £92m a year. This figure is based on earlier work by the Audit Commission which estimated that the rate of single person fraud totals 4% of council tax claims.

Continuing the crackdown on fraud, all councils in Somerset will be running checks to make sure that people claiming a single person's discount on their council tax bill are claiming legitimately.

In Sedgemoor, there are approximately 16,000 people who claim the discount. Sedgemoor District Council is checking by cross-referencing with other sources of information about their household by using sophisticated data matching technology. The methods used do not infringe on any data protection issues.

Currently a 25% discount, ranging from a minimum of £195.25 a year and up to a maximum of £754.25, is given to anyone who claims to be living in a property on their own. If the checks indicate that another adult is living at the address, the discount will be withdrawn.

Residents who are genuinely claiming the discount have nothing to worry about, but anyone found to be deliberately misleading the Council could face a fine and legal action.

Find out if you may be entitled to a Council Tax discount, which types of dwelling are exempt from Council Tax, special reductions for people with disabilities, as well as details on how you can pay your Council Tax, and what can happen if you don't.

The information contained on these pages should not be regarded as a complete guide to the law.

A booklet is available below explaining how properties in England are valued and how you can appeal against your valuation. You can view a copy of this booklet at the Sedgemoor District Council office, or alternatively you can visit the Valuation Office website. A further free booklet explaining Council Tax Benefit is available from post offices and some local Social Security offices.

If you have further questions you should contact us, or the Citizens Advice Bureau.

What does the Council Tax pay for?

The Council Tax goes towards providing all of the services provided by the County Council, the District Council, the Police Force, the Fire & Rescue Service and local Parish Councils. It is not a direct charge for any particular services you may or may not receive.

Sedgemoor District Council only retains 9.5p in the £ of the total collected to run the services it is responsible for. The rest of the money collected is paid over to Somerset County Council, the Police, the Fire Service and parishes.

With the 9.5p in the £ of the Council Tax it retains, Sedgemoor District Council provides the following services:

  • Affordable Housing
  • Clean Streets
  • Council Tax administration
  • Economic Development & Regeneration
  • Grass cutting and flower beds
  • Housing Benefits
  • Healthy Living
  • Recycling
  • Waste Collection 
  • Car Parks
  • Community Safety
  • Development Management & Planning Policy
  • Environmental Heath Services
  • Grants to community and voluntary groups
  • Housing Services
  • Parks and Open Spaces
  • Swimming

  • Appeals

    You may appeal against any decision your council has taken. However you should continue to pay your original Council Tax bill while your appeal is outstanding.

  • Discounts

    Some residents are eligible for a discount in the amount of Council Tax they pay. This guide explains how discounts are applied. Find out if a discount may apply to your home.

  • Exemptions

    Some dwellings are exempt from the Council Tax. The following broadly explains which types of dwelling may be exempt and where they will be exempt only for a specified length of time.

  • How much will my Council Tax bill be?

    The council tax is set by your local council. The amount set depends on how much it, and certain other public bodies in your area, spend and how much money they get from elsewhere.

  • Paying your bill

    Find out what to do when you receive your bill, how to query an amount, different ways in which the bill can be paid, and what to do if you are unable to pay the amount due.

  • Payments Online

    Payments to Sedgemoor District Council can be made online. You can pay your Council Tax, Non-Domestic Rates (Business Rates) or Housing Rent quickly and easily by paying online using our Secure payment facility.

  • Penalty appeals

    Find out how a penalty can be imposed on you and what to do if you disagree with a penalty.

  • Reduction for disabilities

    Your Council Tax bill may be reduced if your home has certain features which are essential, or of major importance, to the well-being of a person with a disability.

  • Who pays the bill?

    There is one council tax bill for each dwelling, whether it is a house, bungalow, flat, maisonette, mobile home or houseboat, and whether it is owned or rented. Who pays the bill for the home, depends on who is liable.

  • Report a change of address

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