Your Council Tax and Non-Domestic Rates 2016/17

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1 Your Council Tax and Non-Domestic Rates 2016/17 This leaflet forms part of your Demand Notice and should be read along with the information contained in the notice.

2 General information on Council Tax Reduction Calculation of Council Tax Reduction The maximum council tax reduction that can be awarded is 100% of the council tax charge (water and sewerage charges are not eligible for council tax reduction purposes so you must pay them), less any disabled persons reduction, discounts, transitional reductions or non-dependant deductions. If your income is the same as or less than your needs you will qualify for the maximum council tax reduction available. If your income is greater than your needs (this is a sum of money determined by the Government each April), benefit entitlement is reduced by 20% of the difference. All claimants who are in receipt of Income Support, Jobseekers Allowance (income based), Employment Support Allowance (Income Related) or Pension Credit (Guaranteed Credit) automatically receive the maximum council tax reduction available. Income includes money from employment, all state benefits, pensions from previous employers and any other money you are in receipt of. We also need to know about any savings, investments, property or any other types of capital you have. If your savings or investments etc are worth more than 16,000 you will not qualify for council tax reduction, unless you also receive Pension Credit Guarantee Credit. Visit to check your entitlement and make a new claim for council tax reduction online or call into your local FSS office. Alternative Maximum Council Tax Reduction Alternative maximum council tax reduction compensates a council tax payer for the loss of council tax discount caused by the presence of a second adult in their home who is not their partner, a boarder/sub-tenant or a person who is disregarded for council tax liability purposes. An example would be a son/daughter who is on income support and lives with you. There are two types of alternative maximum council tax reduction -student only which equals 100% of the council tax liability and general second adult rebate which can be up to 25% of the council tax liability. Please contact us for a full explanation of the terms used and the conditions of entitlement. Council Tax Reduction Review If you want to know more about your council tax reduction decision, or you think that it is wrong, you must get in touch with the Benefits section within one calendar month of the date of the decision. You can either: Ask for an explanation of the decision, or if you want more information ask for a written statement of reasons for the decision Ask us to look again at the decision this must be made in writing to your local area office If you are still dissatisfied with your council tax reduction decision you can seek an independent ruling from the Council Tax Reduction Panel who will conduct a further review. An application for further review should be made directly to them by yourself or representative. Further information, including application forms, are available via their website or by telephoning Duty to Report Changes in Circumstance You must inform your local benefits office immediately of any changes in your circumstance that might affect your entitlement, for example, if your income changes, you begin work, someone moves in or out of your home etc. If you have any queries, or if you would like more information about how your council tax reduction was calculated contact your local benefit office or write to Finance and Customer Services, PO Box 9060, Motherwell, ML1 1SH

3 Calculation of Council Tax NB: In line with the new Council Budget your 2016/2017 Council Tax Charge has not changed, however, the Water and Sewerage Charges have increased by 1.6%. These changes will be reflected in your 2016/17 Council Tax Notice. Where your money is spent 2016/17 Net Expenditure 2015/16 Net Expenditure Change from 2015/2016 Band D Council Tax Equivalent m m m % Regeneration & Environmental Services 98,312 98, % 864 Learning & Leisure Services 407, , % 3,579 Housing & Social Work Services 193, ,228 5, % 1,702 Joint Board Arrangements 14,695 14, % 129 Other services and costs 24,994 25, % 220 Totals 738, ,538 4, % Financed by Government Grants 486, ,851 Non Domestic Rates 120, ,575 Use of Balances 7,112 9,100 Total needed from council tax 124, ,012 Band D council tax 2016/2017 1,098 Band D council tax 2015/2016 1,098 Scottish average band D 1,149 council tax for 2016/2017 Council employees (full-time equivalent) 2015/ , /2017 estimate 12,373 decrease 287 Comparison of council expenditure proposals per household with Government provisions Expenditure figures assumed by Government in Aggregate External Finance provisions (grant support) 4,668 Proposed spending by council on comparable basis 4,949 north lanarkshire council / your council tax and non-domestic rates

4 General information on National Non-Domestic Rates National Non-Domestic Rates The amount you pay is calculated by multiplying the Rateable Value placed on your property by the Assessor, by the rate per announced each year by the Scottish Ministers. The National Non-Domestic Rates poundage The National Non-Domestic rates poundage set by the Scottish Ministers is 48.4p for businesses with rateable values up to 35,000 and 51p for businesses with rateable values over 35,000. The main reliefs available are: Empty property From 1st April 2016 new legislation is in place in relation to empty property relief. If your property is empty and you wish to make a remission of rates claim, please contact the Rates Team on Details of your claim will be noted and the relevant application form issued to you for completion. On receipt of the completed form your claim will be assessed and you will be notified of the outcome. Charitable Organisations Registered charities and other organisations of social benefit such as Sports, Theatre, Arts Clubs etc can qualify for both mandatory and discretionary relief of up to 100% of rates liability. Licensed clubs are able to claim for discretionary relief based on the turnover of the club. Rural Post Offices/General Stores/Petrol Filling Station/Pub/Hotel A sole post office or general store with a rateable value under 8,500, a sole petrol filling station or a sole pub/hotel with a rateable value under 12,750 in a rural settlement may qualify for 50% mandatory relief. The rural settlement list can be viewed at your local council office. Disabled Persons Relief Premises in which nursing care is available can qualify for relief of rates Renewable Energy Relief Information in relation to this relief can be obtained by contacting the Non Domestic Rates Team on Small Business Bonus Scheme (SBBS) Businesses with a combined rateable value (all properties in Scotland) of 18,000 or less may qualify. In addition, where the cumulative rateable value of business properties falls between 18,000 and 35,000, the Scheme will offer 25% relief to individual properties with a rateable value of 18,000 or under Cumulative RV 2016/2017 Up to 10, % 10,001-12,000 50% 12,001-18,000 25% Upper limit for cumulative (RV) 35,000 New Start relief is available for properties first entered onto the valuation roll on or after 1 April 2013, if they are lying empty from the initial date placed in the roll. For further details please see the information leaflet or contact the Rates Team on

5 Details of Revenue Budget 2016/2017 North Lanarkshire Council set its net budget for at m, of which m (82%) is estimated to be financed from government grants and non-domestic rates, m from council tax, and 7.112m from one-off Council balances. The Band D council tax level remains at 1,098, continuing the trend of a council tax rate below the Scottish average. With council tax levels ranging from (Band A) to 2, (Band H), your council tax helps fund a variety of much needed services to the community including: educating children, improving and maintaining our roads and local environment, addressing the impact of welfare reform changes, and providing cultural, leisure and recreation facilities. Following implementation of integrated health and social work services in April 2016, the Council will pass responsibility for delivery of social work services to the North Lanarkshire Joint Integration Board (JIB). These revised arrangements will therefore see an estimated 153.7m of resources transfer from North Lanarkshire Council to the Joint Integration Board. From April 2016 onwards therefore, the North Lanarkshire Joint Integration Board will be responsible for caring for children, looking after the elderly and providing support to people with special needs. As with previous years, the Council continues to face challenging financial times, with its Government Grant alone projected to be 3.9% lower than the previous financial year. Despite this however, the Council has set a balanced budget, which per the service expenditure table provided, illustrates additional spend of 4.105m compared to the position. This additional spend is however largely being met from council balances. In setting its revenue budget, the Council has therefore: Funded unavoidable cost pressures totalling 28.7m in respect of employer costs, legislative changes and contractual obligations; Approved service changes (savings) totalling 31.7m, giving due consideration to the outcome of the public consultation exercise conducted towards the end of 2015; Used 7.112m of the balances it holds to support unforeseen events to enable it to properly fund its unavoidable cost pressures; Remained committed to protecting and providing vital services required by its community. In finalising its budget and council tax, the Council reviewed comments received through the public consultation and significantly reduced initial savings proposals in respect of areas such as road repairs, community learning, family learning, classroom support, and service charges. The number of people directly employed by the Council in is estimated to decrease by 287 (2.3%) to reflect the reconfiguration of services which result from the Council approving the savings package noted above. north lanarkshire council / your council tax and non-domestic rates

6 General information on Council Tax Council Tax Valuation Band Your home will fall within a valuation band between A and H, which is determined by the Assessor and is based upon property values as at 1 April The amount of tax you pay is related to your valuation band, i.e. higher banded properties attract a higher liability. The occupier(s) of a property, whether privately owned or rented, are the persons usually liable for payment. Empty properties are the responsibility of the non-resident owners or tenants. There is also a personal element in the tax, which makes it possible for certain persons to be disregarded when assessing the amount to be paid or in awarding discount. In addition there are provisions relating to Council Tax Reduction, Exemptions and Disabled Persons Relief. Your council tax bill includes details of Scottish Water s charges for the water and waste-water services supplied to your home. For more information contact customer helpline on or visit their website at Council Tax who pays? A couple who are married, civil partners or living together as a couple and joint owners or joint tenants are jointly and severally liable i.e. individually and together. Exemptions/Empty Dwellings Occupied dwellings may qualify to be treated as exempt where: All the occupants are students All the occupants are under 18 All the occupants are under 20 and are school or college leavers They are reserved by the Government for members of the armed forces They are owned by a housing body and used as trial accommodation for sheltered housing tenants All the occupants are severely mentally impaired Unoccupied dwellings may qualify to be treated as exempt where they: Have recently been built, are under reconstruction, are uninhabitable or awaiting demolition Were last occupied by persons disregarded for discount purposes Are owned by a charity Are unfurnished (up to six months) Are empty due to death of occupant Are repossessed or vested in a trustee in bankruptcy Are hard to let because they are part of a larger property Were last used in connection with agriculture Are being held for use by a minister of religion If you consider that your property falls into one of the above categories, please contact the council tax office for an application form. Disabled Persons In certain circumstances, a reduction may be possible if any resident is disabled. This would result in a decrease in valuation band, for example from C to B. Since 1 April 2000, people living in a band A property may also be eligible to qualify for a reduction in their council tax. The reduction for band A properties will be approximately 17% of the council tax charge. If you consider that you may qualify for disabled person reduction please contact your local council tax office. Save money on your energy bills Home Energy Scotland from the Scottish Government is a source of free and impartial advice on how to make your home cheaper to heat. Advice and support provided includes information on government schemes and funding available for energy efficiency improvements such as new insulation or a replacement boiler. Whether you rent or own your home, call Home Energy Scotland free on

7 Discounts Single Person Discount This is a discount of 25% for properties occupied by one person age 18 or over or a combination of one person and disregarded person(s). In assessing residency, the categories of residents disregarded include. Students, student nurses and apprentices Long term patients in a hospital or hostel Persons in detention Severely mentally impaired persons and certain care workers Empty Property Discount and 100% Levy from April 2014 The discount is 10% where the property is not a liable person s sole or main residence. However, if the property is continuously empty for more than 12 months, it may be subject to an increased levy of 100% Council Tax charge. If you consider that you may qualify for discount or require further information regarding discounts available, please contact your local council tax office. Remember: If you are granted a discount and the circumstances which led to that discount alter you must inform the council. Appeals You may have the right to appeal against your council tax banding or rateable value. Such appeals are currently only possible in limited circumstances. Advice on whether or not you have such a right can be obtained from the Assessor at North Stand, Cadzow Avenue, Hamilton, ML3 0LU Tel You may also appeal if you are aggrieved at the actions of the Council in calculating or collecting your council tax. Write to the Executive Director, Finance and Customer Services, PO Box 9060, Motherwell, ML1 1SH stating your grounds for appeal and why you consider the decision to be wrong. If you are not satisfied with the response from the Executive Director you do have a further right of appeal to a Valuation Appeal Committee. Please contact your local council tax office for further information on the procedures you must follow to submit a valid appeal. Payment should not be delayed pending the outcome of any appeal or enquiry. Valuation bandings Band Property Value Ratio of Band D Council Tax A Up to 27, B 27,001 to 35, C 35,001 to 45, D 45,001 to 58, , E 58,001 to 80, , F 80,001 to 106, , G 106,001 to 212, , H Over 212, ,196.00

8 HOW WE PROCESS YOUR DATA Information provided by you and from supporting evidence collected by North Lanarkshire Council will be used to process your Housing Benefit, Council Tax Reduction, Council Tax and Non Domestic Rates Relief claims. The information may be passed to the Department for Work and Pensions and Her Majesty s Revenues & Customs as permitted by law. We may check information provided by you, or information about you provided by a third party, with other information held by us. We may also get information from certain third parties, or give information to them to check the accuracy of the information, to prevent or detect crime, or to protect public funds in other ways, as permitted by law. These third parties include Government Departments, Local Authorities and Credit Reference Agencies. Further information can be found by searching for National Fraud Initiative on the Council s website. Fraud investigations may include checks on any undeclared cohabiters and your information may be shared with other Council services with a view to providing you with access to other benefits, reduction, relief and grants to which you may be entitled. We will not disclose information about you to anyone outside North Lanarkshire Council nor use information about you for any other purpose than outlined in this notice unless the law permits us to. North Lanarkshire Council is the Data Controller for the purposes of the Data Protection Act If you want to know more about what information we have about you, or the way we use your information, you can ask at any of the offices listed in your demand notice. This information can be made available in a range of languages and formats, including large print, braille, audio, electronic and accessible formats. North Lanarkshire Council Finance and Customer Services PO Box 9060 Motherwell ML1 1SH t f e. FCS_00194 Ver

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