Council Tax Support Scheme

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This consultation has concluded

Local Council Tax Support scheme – proposed changes

We are proposing changes to the rules for our Local Council Tax Support (CTS) scheme. The CTS scheme reduces the amount of Council Tax to be paid by residents with low income.

This is your opportunity to find out more about the proposals and have your say.

Why are we doing this?

In light of the ongoing pressures on the cost of living, we are looking at what we can do to help support the lowest income residents living in the borough.

The current CTS scheme means that there is a maximum reduction of 100% of their council tax bill for residents who:

A. are of pension age.

B. receive a disability benefit or are registered blind.

C. have a disabled child who lives with them.

D. have a child under the age of five who lives with them.

E. receive a war disablement pension, war widow’s pension or war widower’s pension.

At the moment, residents of working age who do not fall into one of these protected groups, the maximum help they can get is a reduction of 75% of their council tax bill. Also, if the property they live in is in band E or above, their CTS is worked out as if they lived in a band D property.

The proposed changes will remove these restrictions, and mean that for all residents, the maximum help they can get will be 100% of their council tax bill. The actual CTS for any resident will still be based on their individual income and household circumstances.

We have also noticed that some people who apply for Universal Credit do not realise quickly enough that they also need to make a separate application to the Council for Council Tax Support. We are proposing extending the time limit for working age residents to make a claim from one month to three months. This is the same limit as for residents of pension age.

What is proposed: Full proposals

You can read the full proposals presented to Cabinet on 12 September 2023.

You can also read the full version of the draft scheme containing the proposed changes.

List of proposed changes: Summary

You are invited to have your say on these proposed changes:

  1. Increase the maximum help for all residents of working age to 100% of their council tax bill, by removing the 25% minimum payment, and the cap at band D.
  2. Extend the time limit for working age residents to apply for CTS to three months, in line with the time limit for residents of pension age.

The proposed changes will mean that about 1,000 residents with the lowest incomes in the borough get lower council tax bills. About 700 of these residents will move to zero council tax bills, saving them about £300 a year.

As the changes reduce the amount of council tax we charge these residents, it does have an impact on the total council tax that can be collected.

We collect council tax for Hertfordshire County Council (HCC), the Hertfordshire Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) as well as for us and the town and parish councils. We estimate that the proposed changes would reduce the total amount of council tax billed for across the borough by about £500,000. This is split roughly as £400,000 for Hertfordshire County Council, £50,000 for the Police and Crime Commissioner, and £50,000 for us.

This would be a reduction of about 0.05% in the amount of council tax billed for HCC and the PCC, and about 0.38% for us.

Community Impact Assessment

We have completed an initial Community Impact Assessment (CIA) for these proposals. The CIA identifies and examines in more detail what positive and negative impacts these proposals may have on individuals with protected characteristics together with our equality objectives and how we propose to mitigate any negative impacts.

The impacts and mitigations described within the CIA will be considered as part of the decision-making process on the proposals. The CIA will be kept under review and updated to reflect any relevant new information, including information which comes in as part of the consultation process.

How you can find out more

Visit the document library for:

  • Cabinet Report outlining the full proposals
  • Our detailed draft scheme, showing what our Local Council Tax Support scheme rules would be in detail if the proposed changes are agreed.
  • Our initial Community Impact Assessment document
  • A copy of our consultation survey in case you would prefer to respond in writing

To translate this page into another language, please use the ‘Select language’ button at the bottom of this page.

Paper copies also available from our Customer Services team

What happens next?

Once the consultation ends on 24 November 2023 (midnight), we will consider all the responses received and prepare a consultation report.

The consultation report will help us reach a decision about whether, and how we make changes to our CTS scheme.

The report will be available to everyone that takes part in the consultation and a copy will be published on our website.

Local Council Tax Support scheme – proposed changes

We are proposing changes to the rules for our Local Council Tax Support (CTS) scheme. The CTS scheme reduces the amount of Council Tax to be paid by residents with low income.

This is your opportunity to find out more about the proposals and have your say.

Why are we doing this?

In light of the ongoing pressures on the cost of living, we are looking at what we can do to help support the lowest income residents living in the borough.

The current CTS scheme means that there is a maximum reduction of 100% of their council tax bill for residents who:

A. are of pension age.

B. receive a disability benefit or are registered blind.

C. have a disabled child who lives with them.

D. have a child under the age of five who lives with them.

E. receive a war disablement pension, war widow’s pension or war widower’s pension.

At the moment, residents of working age who do not fall into one of these protected groups, the maximum help they can get is a reduction of 75% of their council tax bill. Also, if the property they live in is in band E or above, their CTS is worked out as if they lived in a band D property.

The proposed changes will remove these restrictions, and mean that for all residents, the maximum help they can get will be 100% of their council tax bill. The actual CTS for any resident will still be based on their individual income and household circumstances.

We have also noticed that some people who apply for Universal Credit do not realise quickly enough that they also need to make a separate application to the Council for Council Tax Support. We are proposing extending the time limit for working age residents to make a claim from one month to three months. This is the same limit as for residents of pension age.

What is proposed: Full proposals

You can read the full proposals presented to Cabinet on 12 September 2023.

You can also read the full version of the draft scheme containing the proposed changes.

List of proposed changes: Summary

You are invited to have your say on these proposed changes:

  1. Increase the maximum help for all residents of working age to 100% of their council tax bill, by removing the 25% minimum payment, and the cap at band D.
  2. Extend the time limit for working age residents to apply for CTS to three months, in line with the time limit for residents of pension age.

The proposed changes will mean that about 1,000 residents with the lowest incomes in the borough get lower council tax bills. About 700 of these residents will move to zero council tax bills, saving them about £300 a year.

As the changes reduce the amount of council tax we charge these residents, it does have an impact on the total council tax that can be collected.

We collect council tax for Hertfordshire County Council (HCC), the Hertfordshire Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) as well as for us and the town and parish councils. We estimate that the proposed changes would reduce the total amount of council tax billed for across the borough by about £500,000. This is split roughly as £400,000 for Hertfordshire County Council, £50,000 for the Police and Crime Commissioner, and £50,000 for us.

This would be a reduction of about 0.05% in the amount of council tax billed for HCC and the PCC, and about 0.38% for us.

Community Impact Assessment

We have completed an initial Community Impact Assessment (CIA) for these proposals. The CIA identifies and examines in more detail what positive and negative impacts these proposals may have on individuals with protected characteristics together with our equality objectives and how we propose to mitigate any negative impacts.

The impacts and mitigations described within the CIA will be considered as part of the decision-making process on the proposals. The CIA will be kept under review and updated to reflect any relevant new information, including information which comes in as part of the consultation process.

How you can find out more

Visit the document library for:

  • Cabinet Report outlining the full proposals
  • Our detailed draft scheme, showing what our Local Council Tax Support scheme rules would be in detail if the proposed changes are agreed.
  • Our initial Community Impact Assessment document
  • A copy of our consultation survey in case you would prefer to respond in writing

To translate this page into another language, please use the ‘Select language’ button at the bottom of this page.

Paper copies also available from our Customer Services team

What happens next?

Once the consultation ends on 24 November 2023 (midnight), we will consider all the responses received and prepare a consultation report.

The consultation report will help us reach a decision about whether, and how we make changes to our CTS scheme.

The report will be available to everyone that takes part in the consultation and a copy will be published on our website.

  • Summary of proposed changes to the Local Council Tax Support (CTS) scheme

    We are proposing the following changes to the CTS scheme:

    • Increase the maximum level of support for all residents of working age to 100% of their council tax bill, by removing the 25% minimum payment and the cap at band D.
    • Extend the time limit for working age residents to apply for CTS to three months, in line with the time limit for residents of pension age.

    These changes would mean that about 1,000 residents with the lowest incomes in the borough would get lower council tax bills. About 700 of these residents would move to zero council tax bills, saving them about £300 a year.

    Please take a few minutes to complete our consultation survey and let us know your thoughts on the proposed changes.

    The consultation closes on 24 November 2023 (midnight).

    This consultation has concluded

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