2017/2018 Council Tax
20th 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 at:
To check what band your property falls under visit the Assessor's web site at:
Queries relating to Council Tax Bands must be made to the Assessor by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
Council Tax for 2017/2018 can be found at: www.highland.gov.uk/downloads/download/525/council_tax_rates.
Scottish Water and Waste Water Service charges are also shown and these charges are set by Scottish Water.
A comparison of Council Tax Charges between 2016/2017 and 2017/2018 can also be found at www.highland.gov.uk/downloads/download/525/council_tax_rates
If households would like support with their personal budgeting they should contact the Council's Welfare Support Team at email@example.com 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 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.
Nominations are being invited from people seeking election onto eight community councils across the Highlands. The resignation of some members have brought the following six community council's down to below half of their memberships so interim elections have been called in order to fill the vacancies.
The Highland Council and its Commercial and Procurement Shared Services partners Aberdeen City and Aberdeenshire Councils are running a series of events to help businesses supply to the public sector. Some of the events are hosted by other organisations and we will be signposting suppliers to these as well.
Leader of the Highland Council, Margaret Davidson has moved to reassure communities about forthcoming budget decisions. She said: "No decisions will be made until the Council meets on 15 February.
At Highland Council work has been ongoing for some months to prepare a Revenue and Capital Budget for 2018/19 and beyond, with the anticipation of a significant cut to available funds. The Scottish Government's proposed grant settlement was announced on 14 December 2017.
Around £3 million of funding has been agreed for a ground-breaking Highland project that could transform the lives of people with complex health needs as part of the Inverness and Highland City Region Deal. The business case for the ‘FitHome' assisted living project was approved in November last year with £3m funding from the Scottish Government.
An article in the Press and Journal today 9th January 2018 highlights the cuts in staffing levels across Scottish councils with Highland being one of the highest. In 2009 Highland had 9953 Full-time Equivalent Staff and in 2017 it had dropped by 21% to 7838.
Highland Council Trading Standards team has recently seen an increase in scams targeting Highland businesses. The most common scams reported by businesses relate to marketing and publishing but other frauds such as those involving demands for payment for unsolicited goods sent to businesses (such as ink cartridges which were never ordered) are also on the rise.
Cognitive improvements to be included in Blue Badge scheme The disabled person's parking badge pilot, which was launched in April 2016, has been made permanent by the Scottish Government. The eligibility criteria were revised and extended under a pilot to allow carers and relatives of people who pose a risk to themselves or others in traffic to apply for a disabled person's parking badge, provided they meet the criteria.
People looking to pick up a New Year bargain in the sales on the internet, by mail order or on the high street are being encouraged by The Highland Council's Trading Standards team to be aware of their consumer rights and to stay safe online from scams and fake websites that try to dupe inexperienced online shoppers trying to buy a bargain. Consumers have extra protection when they shop online.
The British Hospitality Association secured a major victory today (21 December2017) as the Scottish Government confirmed that any plans for a ‘tourist tax' in Edinburgh - or any other Scottish cities - are firmly off the table. The BHA has been campaigning consistently for over six years against the implementation of any such additional and uncompetitive tax and is delighted that the Scottish Government has recognised our reservations.
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