Highland Council Does Not Go For Maximum Council Tax Increase
14th February 2019
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 -
Highland tenants claiming Universal Credit are being urged to log on and update their UC claim this April 1st to ensure their entitlement covers their annual rent increase for the year ahead. Those who fail to do so will face a shortfall in their housing entitlement, putting them at risk of arrears.
Householders are advised that from the 1st of April 2019 vehicle tyres will no longer be accepted for disposal at Highland Council Household Waste Recycling Centres. The Highland Council currently disposes of 22% more waste per person than the Scottish average.
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A report that aims to demonstrate the continuing commitments of Highland Council, it's Education Authority and Highland Licensing Board, to advance and mainstream equality into day-to-day work was approved today by Councillors on the Care, Learning and Housing Committee. Local Authorities, Education Authorities and Licensing Boards are required by legislation to publish a report every 2 years on how they mainstream equality into their work.
The Highland Council is today (12 March 2019) launching a 12 week consultation giving the community until 5 June 2019 to comment on the proposed contents of the Common Good Fund Asset Register. Section 102 Community Empowerment (Scotland) 2015 states that before establishing a Common Good Asset Register the Council must first conduct a public consultation on a list of property (buildings, land, artwork, regalia and funds) it is proposing to include.
People living in The Highland Council area can now find out how to foster and adopt in the comfort of their own homes. Alison Gordon, Highland Council's Fostering and Adoption Resource Manager explained: "We have created this website to try to make it easier for anyone living in the Highlands who is considering fostering or adoption and we have tried to make the process of applying easier.
Council has agreed 22 strategic improvement priorities and a Highland Improving Performance Programme for the Council which aims to make the connections across services and communities and drive the improvement. The proposed strategic improvement priorities are identified from the Council's knowledge of where performance needs to improve and where the Council has already set ambition for improvement.
The Council's Programme "Local Voices: Highland Choices" was approved at today's Council meeting 7th March 2019, along with a Corporate Plan which provides the measures and actions required to deliver and monitor the Programme. The Corporate Plan also underpins the priorities set out in the Council's budget strategy and change programme "A Sustainable Highland" which was approved by Council in February 2019.
Overall the Council's key performance indicators (KPIs) for 2017-18 are performing well with 81% (22) either improving or being maintained. The principles that underpin the Council's values include that the Council will be fair, open and accountable.
Paper discussed at Highland council today 7 March 2018. The debate will be available for viewing later at https://highland.public-i.tv/core/portal/webcast_interactive/374561 HIGHLAND COUNCIL Date: 7th March 2019 Report Title: Council preparations for EU exit Report By: The Chief Executive 1.
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