Purpose of Report
To provide the Executive with an opportunity to review consultation responses and consider the City of Lincoln Council’s proposed Localised Council Tax Support Scheme for 2019/20.
That Council be recommended to:
(1) Review the consultation responses relating to the Localised Council Tax Support Scheme for 2019/20.
(2) Approve the continuation of the Exceptional Hardship Scheme fund of £20,000, made available during 2018/19, into 2019/20.
(3) Approve the City of Lincoln Council’s Localised Council Tax Support Scheme 2019/20, subject to the inclusion of the following changes:
· reducing the maximum savings limit to £8,000;
· introducing a 200% premium charge for properties empty over two years;
· introducing a care leavers council tax exemption;
· reverting the discount level for domestic properties that become unoccupied to 100% for the first month.
Alternation Options Considered and Rejected
A number of options were set out within the report which formed part of the public consultation process, as outlined within the body of the report.
Reason for Decision
The consultation process for the draft Localised Council Tax Support Scheme in respect of 2019/20 began on 1 November 2018 with major preceptors, stakeholders and a public consultation which ended on 14 December 2018. There were nine options included within the consultation and included changes to the Scheme itself together with technical changes within the Council Tax billing process. These options were set out in paragraph 5.3 of the report.
In total, 252 surveys were completed in response to the public consultation, details of which were attached to the report at Appendix 2. The proposals were considered by the Council’s Policy Scrutiny Committee on 13 November 2018 and had been well received, although there were mixed opinions regarding preferred options.
Additional responses to the consultation had been received by Lincolnshire County Council and the Police and Crime Commissioner for Lincolnshire which were also appended to the report.