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Agenda item

Council Tax Setting for 2017-18

Decision:

(a)       That the 2017-18 Council Tax be set as detailed in Appendix 1 to the report;

 

(b)       That the continuation of the policy of not providing a discount in the level of Council Tax charges for second homes and long-term empty homes be endorsed.  Also where exceptions do not apply, to also charge from 2017-18 the Council Tax Premium rate of 50% above the standard rate of Council Tax for second homes and long-term empty dwellings; and

 

(c)       That approval be given for designated officers to issue legal proceedings and appear on behalf of the Council in the Magistrates’ Court for unpaid taxes.

Minutes:

The Revenues Manager presented the report to formally set the Council Tax for 2017-18 within the required timescale.  The Council Tax resolution included the County Council’s precept of £70,122,877 in addition to precepts collected on behalf of the Police & Crime Commissioner (P&CC) for North Wales and Town/Community Councils.  The Council Tax charges/levels detailed in the report had been approved as part of the final budget proposals on 14 February 2017, with the proposed 3% increase in the County Council precept equating to £1,103.55 per year on Band ‘D’ properties.  As agreed in March 2016, the Council Tax premium scheme would also apply, where applicable, to help bring empty homes back into use.

 

Councillor Mike Peers felt that the Council should be recompensed by the P&CC for resources used in collecting that annual precept amount.  The Revenues Manager advised that the Council had a statutory duty to collect the three elements of Council Tax and that legislation did not permit a charge to be levied to do so.  He noted the typographical error in the breakdown of resolutions/decisions appended to the report which should have referred to 2017-18.

 

The recommendations in the report were formally moved by Councillor Aaron Shotton and duly seconded.

 

On the P&CC precept, Councillor Carol Ellis said there was disappointment amongst some residents at the level of service received from the Police and the lack of Police presence; an issue which had been raised by Buckley Town Council.  The Chief Executive suggested that Members may wish to invite the P&CC and the Chief Constable of North Wales Police to a meeting of the Council early in the new term to discuss any concerns.

 

This suggestion was welcomed by Councillor Tony Sharps who spoke in support of the comments by Councillors Peers and Ellis.  In response to a query, the Revenues Manager advised that the new framework policy approved by Council introduced from 2017/18 included a requirement for all charitable, voluntary and not-for-profit organisations to make a 20% contribution towards their business rate liability.  Councillor Sharps felt that this was unfair to those small organisations, particularly in rural areas, and should be reviewed.  The Revenues Manager clarified that the adopted framework allowed for the application of discretionary rate relief by small businesses, however this was only partly funded by the Welsh Government.  The Council’s website also provided details of the hardship rate relief scheme.

 

RESOLVED:

 

(a)       That the 2017-18 Council Tax be set as detailed in Appendix 1 to the report;

 

(b)       That the continuation of the policy of not providing a discount in the level of Council Tax charges for second homes and long-term empty homes be endorsed.  Also where exceptions do not apply, to also charge from 2017-18 the Council Tax Premium rate of 50% above the standard rate of Council Tax for second homes and long-term empty dwellings; and

 

(c)       That approval be given for designated officers to issue legal proceedings and appear on behalf of the Council in the Magistrates’ Court for unpaid taxes.

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