Decision Maker: Cabinet
Decision status: Recommendations Approved
Is Key decision?: Yes
Is subject to call in?: No
To consider the Council Tax Base for
The Cabinet had before it a report * from the Deputy Chief Executive (S151) detailing the statutory calculations necessary to determine the Tax Base for the Council Tax. The calculations made follow a formula laid down in Regulations.
The Cabinet Member for Finance outlined the contents of the report with particular reference to the following:
· It was reiterated that each year the Council had to set its Council Tax Base against which all Town and Parish Council’s could set their precepts.
· Within the calculation were the actual numbers of properties within the district, the number of properties falling within the Council Tax Reduction Scheme, the forecast growth in properties and the likely level of collection, all of which are converted into an average amount for a Band D property.
· For 2024/25 there was projected to be 30,222.10 Band D properties which was growth of 389 on the current year and the Council expected to collect 97.5% of the precept which was up from 96.5% in 23/24.
· Although they did not affect the materiality of the report, some amendments needed to be highlighted within the report: The effective date in paragraph 3.7.1 should have been 2025 not 2024 and conversely in paragraph 3.8.2 it should have been 2024 not 2025.
Discussion took place regarding:
· The effective commencement date of an empty property in terms of collecting Council Tax.
· Discretionary relief was available via the Exceptional Hardship Fund.
· The threshold figure used to discount savings was £16k.
· The amount of Council Tax that could be applied for second homes. By law, residents needed to be given 1 years notice before Council Tax doubled to 200%.
· In Mid Devon, a lot of the properties were Band D or below.
· Some elements of the Council Tax regime were unfair.
· Only 9.8% of the Council Tax collected by MDDC actually came back to the authority for use on service provision.
· The difficulties involved in identifying second homes, although it was confirmed inspections took place.
· Concerns amongst the parishes regarding second homes which could be further discussed at the State of the District Debate.
· The rules regarding the use of second homes as holiday lets and the number of days properties could be let out for each year.
RECOMMENDED to Full Council that:
a) That the calculation of the Council’s Tax Base for 2024/25 be approved in accordance with The Local Authorities (Calculation of Tax Base) (England) Regulations 2012 at 30,222.1 an increase of circa 389.12 Band D equivalent properties from the previous financial year.
b) That the current collection rate of 96.5% be increased to 97.5% detailed in Section 2.
(Proposed by Cllr J Buczkowski and seconded by Cllr J Lock)
Reason for the decision
Mid Devon District Council was a Statutory Billing Authority and must set its Council Tax each year. If it were not to set a Council Tax then the Authority and all Precepting Authorities would be unable to raise money to pay for all the services they provide.This was a statutory function and was a legal requirement. The Council must now set its budget annually using Council Tax information each year in accordance with The Local Authorities(Calculation of Council Tax Base)(England) Regulations 2012 calculating the relevant amount by applying the formula set out in the above regulations. If the Council fails to carry this duty out then the Council Tax cannot legally be set. In accordance with the LGF Act 2012 above and SI 2914 of 2012 The Local Authorities (Calculation of Council Tax Base)(England) Regulations 2012.
Note: * Report previously circulated.
Report author: Andrew Jarrett
Publication date: 21/11/2023
Date of decision: 14/11/2023
Decided at meeting: 14/11/2023 - Cabinet