Councillor Damian White, Leader of the Council, introduced the report.
The report before Cabinet set out the detail of the responses to the public consultation to change the Council Tax Support Scheme 2019 (CTS Scheme) and the Council Tax surcharge on properties empty for more than two years.
An overview of the existing Council Tax Support Scheme was attached to this report along with an Equalities Impact Assessment, proposed CTS Scheme, Risk Register and full version of the consultation outcomes.
Reasons for the decision:
The Council has a statutory duty to provide a CTS Scheme and to consult the public and interested parties when considering changes to the CTS Scheme. This is set out in Schedule 4 of the Local Government Finance Act 2012.
There is a shortage in the housing market which Government has recognised and introduced legislation to enable local authorities to encourage the occupation of those empty properties by way of a further increase in the Council Tax surcharge.
Other options considered:
At Cabinet on 25 July 2018, Members considered in detail a number of options with regard to the CTS Scheme and selected the scheme proposed in Appendix C for consultation. Details of the options considered can be found in the July Cabinet report and are set out in Appendix F Council Tax Support Scheme Options of this report.
With regard to the Empty Property Surcharge, the only other option is to do nothing.
The responses to the consultation have also set out a number of other alternatives and the Council’s replies to those are reflected elsewhere in this report and Appendices