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Council Tax


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.

Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Please see the following page which briefly outlines the actions of the Council Tax service:

Council Tax Coronavirus update


Online Council Tax Services

You can now request changes to your Council Tax account by completing our online form. Please click on the link below. You can inform us of a change of address, set up a Direct Debit, apply for discounts and much more.

Register or Amend your Council Tax Account


Your Council Tax Bill Explained


Adult Social Care

The Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government has made an offer to adult social care authorities. ("Adult social care authorities" are local authorities which have functions under Part 1 of the Care Act 2014, namely county councils in England, district councils for an area in England for which there is no county council, London borough councils, the Common Council of the City of London and the Council of the Isles of Scilly.)

The offer is the option of an adult social care authority being able to charge an additional "precept" on its council tax without holding a referendum, to assist the authority in meeting its expenditure on adult social care from the financial year 2016-17. It was originally made in respect of the financial years up to and including 2019-20. If the Secretary of State chooses to renew this offer in respect of a particular financial year, this is subject to the approval of the House of Commons.

For adult social care authorities, council tax demand notices show two percentage changes: one for the part of the overall change attributable to the adult social care precept, and one for the part attributable to general expenditure.

The changes to the Demand Notice regulations mean where, for example, an ASC authority sets a 4.99% increase on its previous year's overall charge (comprising 1.99% percentage points for the core increase and 3% percentage point for ASC), those percentage point increases should be shown separately.

Clearly, this is different to how other percentages work on the bill, and causes confusion.

For Sedgemoor District Council (Band D equivalent) the changes means:

 

2020/2021

2021/20

Somerset County Council Precept

£1163.47

£1189.13

Adult Social Care                              

£112.89

£151.56

Somerset County Council Rivers Authority

£12.84

£12.84

Somerset County Council Total

£1289.20

£1353.53

Adult Social Care shows an increase of 3% this year. This is 3% of the total for the County, i.e. 3% of £1289.20 = £38.67    


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 applies

0% discount so a Council Tax charge of 100% will apply

Long Term Empty Properties - property which is unoccupied and unfurnished for 6 months or more10% minimum local discount so a 90% Council Tax charge applies0% discount so a Council Tax charge of 100% will apply up until 2 years of a property being empty
Empty Home Premium - property which has been unoccupied and unfurnished for 2 years or moreNot applicableA Long Term Premium charge of 50% is applied to properties that have been empty for more than 2 years. This equates to 150% of the Council Tax charge.

Please note that the Class A local discount can only apply to properties during the first 24 months of them becoming unoccupied and unfurnished.  After this time, the Class A local discount cannot apply.  National exemptions may still be considered.

Empty Property Premiums

On 20th February 2019, further changes to existing policies were agreed by Full Council:

DiscountCharges applicable to 31/03/2019Charges applicable from 01/04/2019 onwards
Long Term Empties - property which is unoccupied and unfurnished for 6 months or more0% discount so a Council Tax charge of 100% will apply up until 2 years of a property being emptyNo change
Empty Homes Premium

A Long Term Premium charge of 50% is applied to properties that have been empty for more than 2 years. This equates to 150% of the Council Tax charge.

Council Tax year 2019/20

If a property has been classified as an empty property - unoccupied and unfurnished for 2 years or more, there will be no discount and a premium charge of 100% can apply. This equates to 200% of the Council Tax charge. As from April 2019.

Council Tax year 2020/21

If a property has been empty - unoccupied and unfurnished between 2-5 years there will be a premium charge of 100%, if a property has been empty between 5 and 10 years there will be no discount and a premium charge of 200% can apply. This equates to 300% of the Council Tax charge.

Council Tax year 2021/22

If a property has been empty - unoccupied and unfurnished for 10 years or more there will be no discount and a premium charge of 300% can apply (to come into effect in 2021) this equates to 400% of the Council Tax charge.

Where a property is unoccupied and unfurnished, there could be a 100% discount for up to 3 months (Class C). After 3 months, 100% Council Tax charge will become payable. Where a property also requires or is undergoing major repairs to render it habitable, or structural alterations, there could be 100% discount for up to 12 months (Class A). These discounts are tied to the property and when it first meets the qualifying criteria, within the first 24 months of it becoming unoccupied and unfurnished. After the first 24 months, this local discount (Class A) is not applicable.  The relevant day will not alter when the property is sold or changes hands. An inspection may be required before the granting of any discount. 

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.

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
  • Anti-Social Behaviour
  • Beaches and Resort management
  • Benefits - Housing and Council Tax
  • Building Control
  • Car Parks
  • Care Centre/Lifeline
  • CCTV
  • Cemeteries and closed cemeteries
  • Clean Surroundings
  • Coastal defence and Land Drainage
  • Community Safety
  • Council Tax collection
  • Drainage Boards (financial contribution of £1.4m)
  • Dog Wardens
  • Economic Development
  • Elections
  • Environmental Services
  • Graphics and Printing
  • HR
  • Health and Wellbeing
  • Homelessness
  • Housing advice
  • IT
  • Inward Investment (Economic Development)
  • Legal and Democratic core
  • Land Charges
  • Landscaping
  • Lifeguards (seasonal)
  • Legal Services
  • Licensing and Fraud
  • Media and Communications
  • Nuclear and National Grid
  • Parks and Open Spaces
  • Pest Control
  • Performance
  • Planning (Development Management)
  • Pollution Control
  • Revenues
  • Regeneration projects
  • Sedgemoor Direct
  • Strategic Housing
  • Training and Development (IIP Gold)

 

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.


Council Tax Register

Search for the Council Tax band for your property within Sedgemoor.


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, Business Rates, Garden Waste Renewals, Council Service Invoices, Housing Rent or Homes In Sedgemoor Rechargeable Repairs 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

Report a change of address

pdf Council Tax Billing 2021-22 FAQ [226.11KB] pdf Sedgemoor District Council Budget 2021-2022 [131.92KB] pdf Avon & Somerset Police & Crime Commissioner - Budget 2021-22 [426.57KB] pdf Council Tax Advert 2021-22 [95.19KB] pdf Council Tax Bill Information [207.56KB] pdf NNDR Bill Information [262.28KB] arrowRegister of Electors - Annual Electoral Canvass arrowEnforcement Agents arrowRegister or Amend your Council Tax Account arrowSomerset County Council arrowDevon & Somerset Fire & Rescue - What We Spend arrowSomerset Rivers Authority arrowValuation Office Agency arrowReports And Minutes