2017/2018 Council Tax Levels Set For Highland
16th February 2017
From 1 April 2017 the Scottish Government is changing the basis on which properties are assessed for Council Tax and this will increase the charge for Council Tax properties that are banded E to H. The Highland Council has no discretion in this matter and must apply these increases to the Council Tax charges from 1 April 2017. Households living in properties in Bands A-D are not affected by these increases.
Further information on the Council Tax increases by the Scottish Government can be found on their website: http://www.gov.scot/Topics/Government/local-government/17999/counciltax
If you would like to check what band your property falls under you can check on the Assessor's web site: https://www.saa.gov.uk/ (external link)
Queries relating to Council Tax Bands must be made to the Assessor by emailing email@example.com or by phoning 01463 703311.
In addition to the increase in Council Tax set by the Scottish Government on properties falling within Bands E to H, The Highland Council has been given the flexibility to increase Council Tax on all properties, Bands A to H, by up to 3% from 1 April 2017. Council Tax legislation, set by the Scottish Government, determines any increase must be applied to all Bands in A to H.
At the meeting of the Highland Council on 16 February 2017 it was agreed to increase Council Tax on all properties by 3% from 1 April 2017.
If households would like support with their personal budgeting they should contact the Council's Welfare Support Team at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phoning 0800 0901004. This support includes checking and claiming your entitlement to all benefits. Alternatively households may wish to contact their local Citizens Advice Bureau which provides a service on behalf of the Council to help individuals and households manage debts.
Financial assistance is available for those on low incomes to reduce their Council Tax bills. This is called Council Tax Reduction. A leaflet providing details of this relief can be found at www.highland.gov.uk/counciltax Households already in receipt of Council Tax Reduction will have their entitlement automatically recalculated.
Households can check whether they are eligible for assistance by completing the Highland Council’s innovative ‘Apply Once’ online application form at http://www.highland.gov.uk/applyonce This form will also automatically identify any other entitlements that are administered by the Council based on the individual’s circumstances. Households supply their details only once and the Council will put into payment all entitlements that are legitimately available to them.
The 82,000 households who are currently paying their Council Tax by Direct Debit do not need to cancel or change their existing payment amount as this will be updated automatically from 1 April 2017. Households who wish to set up a Direct Debit for payment of their Council Tax can do so at www.highland.gov.uk/counciltax.
During a debate about the future of Highland Council finances, Leader of the Council, Margaret Davidson, has challenged the Scottish Government to be more open about the funding they provide for local councils across Scotland. "In recent years' we’ve seen too much smoke and mirrors when it comes to the Scottish Government handing out their annual grant to local councils.
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FREE Wifi will be extended across the city centre in Inverness this summer. The free service, "Ness Wifi", will be rolled out in the second phase of the Inverness City WiFi project.
Highland council will hear from the finance director Derek Yule on Thursday 29th June 2017 when he speaks on his paper "Financial Outlook 2018 - 2023". The outlook for council finances as set out in the paper Financial Outlook 2018 - 2023 is for five years of cuts and reductions in services as the forecast is for reduction in grant income of 2%, 3.5% or 5% which would produce a budget gap of £129 million to £187 million over 5 years.
A new service for the bereaved in Highland is launched today by The Highland Council called ‘Tell Us Once'. The service will ensure that when a death is registered in the Highland area, a notification is automatically issued to most government agencies which removes the need for grieving families to notify multiple public bodies.
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The Leader of The Highland Council has written to HMICS to express concerns regarding a potential change to the creation of a single National Database Enquiry Unit (NDEU) for the whole of Scotland, based in Inverness. Leader of the Council, Margaret Davidson said: "I have written to the Mr Penman HMICS to express my concerns regarding the proposed changes to the Inverness Police Control Room.
The Highland Council's People Committee has agreed membership of the Council's new Adult Services Development and Scrutiny Sub-Committee. The Adult Services Development and Scrutiny Sub-Committee will ensure specific consideration is given to the delivery of adult social care services, as part of an integrated approach to all community care services, and will oversee on behalf of the People Committee, the commissioning of social care services for adults from NHS Highland.
The Pentland Firth and Orkney Waters Marine Spatial Plan (PFOW MSP) has won the Excellence in Plan Making Practice category at the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) Awards for Planning Excellence 2017. The awards were held in London on 15 June.
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