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Highland Council Does Not Go For Maximum Council Tax Increase

14th February 2019

Photograph of Highland Council Does Not Go For Maximum Council Tax Increase

Highland council today agreed at the budget meeting not to apply the 4.79% increase recently allowed by Scottish Government in their budget but instead are restricting it to 3% increase for 2019/20.

Council Tax is charged on all domestic properties and each property is banded in one of 8 bands (A to H) based on the assessed value of the property. The actual level of Council Tax charged is based on a proportion of the rate, the ‘multiplier', for a band D property.

Band D properties will rise from £1233.82 to £1270.84 an increase of £37.02 per annum or less than 72 pence per week.

As part of the revenue grant settlement from the Scottish Government the Council will have the flexibility to increase Council Tax by up to a maximum of 4.79%. Previously this increase has been capped at 3%.

Recognising the demands it would place on local taxpayers the Administration does not intend to use this additional power to raise Council tax by the maximum permitted amount. The Administration considers it appropriate to increase Council tax by 3% to reduce the budget gap. Such an increase is anticipated to deliver additional income of £3.602m in 2019/20.

Increasing the Council Tax by the maximum permitted 4.79% would generate an estimated £2.150m more income than the proposed 3% increase. By not taking the full increase the council has had to make more saving in its budget for 2019/20.

At this stage Council is only being asked to approve a 3% Council tax increase for 2019/20. An assumed increase of 3% in 2020/21 and 2021/22 has been factored in to reduce the budget gap in those years but any changes to Council Tax rates for those years will require approval by Council at a later date.

The Council Tax Reduction Scheme (CTRS) will continue to offer support to individuals and families on low incomes. The income increase shown above is net of the impact of any increases in the cost of CTRS as a result of the 3% rise.

The Council will review funding options for investment to the Landbank Fund through a combination of capital and revenue finance to ensure that the total level of investment is maintained at its current level in compliance with current regulations. However, we will continue to allocate the equivalent of the full sum generated from Council Tax charged on second homes towards affordable housing, as required by government guidance.

To see the full range of cuts and changes in the budget go to -

https://www.highland.gov.uk/meetings/meeting/4084/highland_council

 

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