Your Council Tax & Business Rates 2019/20

Your Council Tax & Business Rates 2019/20

2019/20 will be the ninth year of Government funding reductions faced by Hartlepool Borough Council.  This means our Government funding will be approximately £25.5m, compared to £46.4m in 2013/14 - a reduction of 45%.

This will mean a 3.9% increase in Council Tax, made up of two components. Firstly, a 2.9% general Council Tax rise, which includes 1% to ease pressure on Children's Social Care. Secondly, a 1% increase specifically for Adult Social Care, shifting the burden away from Central Government and on to council taxpayers.

The amount of Council Tax payable for each property band for Hartlepool Council services in 2019/20 is shown in the table below.

  Increase Band A Band B Band C Band D Band E Band F Band G Band H
Hartlepool Council 2.9% £1,043.69 £1,217.65 £1,391.59 £1,565.54 £1,913.43 £2,261.34 £2,609.23 £3,131.08
Adult Social Care levy 1.0% £79.83 £93.13 £106.44 £119.74 £146.35 £172.96 £199.57 £239.48
Police and Crime Commisioner 10.6% £167.03 £194.86 £222.70 £250.54 £306.22 £361.89 £417.57 £501.08
Cleveland Fire Authority 2.9% £51.57 £60.17 £68.76 £77.36 £94.55 £111.74 £128.93 £154.72
Total 4.7% £1,342.12 £1,565.81 £1,789.49 £2,013.18 £2,460.55 £2,907.93 £3,355.30 £4,026.36

Further information can be obtain in the following links

Council Tax leaflet

How your Council Tax is spent

Cleveland Fire Authority Budget & Council Tax

Police & Crime Commissioner for Cleveland Council Tax  2019/20 *

* Please see note at the bottom of this page

Business Rates Explanatory Notes 2019/20

COUNCIL TAX VALUATION BANDS

The amount of council tax you pay depends on which band your property is in. Your property has been placed into one of eight valuation bands by the Valuation Office Agency, based on its’ value as at 1st April 1991.

Your property’s council tax band is shown on your bill. If you think your property has been placed in the wrong council tax band please contact the Valuation Office Agency (VOA) by telephoning 03000 501 501 or visiting the website at www.voa.gov.uk

You also have the right to appeal against your council tax bill if you think that:

  • the Council has made a mistake when working out your bill; or
  • you should not pay council tax; or
  • your property should be exempt or free from council tax.

Write to us telling us why you are appealing against your council tax bill.

BAND RANGE OF VALUE

 A  Up to £40,000
 B  £40,001 to £52,000
 C  £52,001 to £68,000
 D  £68,001 to £88,000
 E  £88,001 to £120,000
 F  £120,001 to £160,000
 G  £160,001 to £320,000
 H  Over £320,000

Are you paying too much Council Tax?

Please take time to read the following information carefully. It tells you about the help you may be able to claim if you, or another adult in your home, is on a low income, either in or out of work. There are also council tax reductions available for special circumstances; for example if a member of your family is disabled, or severely mentally impaired, or your partner now lives permanently in a nursing home.

Local Council Tax Support Scheme (previously Council Tax Benefit)

If you are on a low income either working, unemployed or retired, you may get help paying your council tax bill by applying for help under the Local Council Tax Support Scheme. The amount of help you receive will depend on your income.

Good news for Pensioners

If you are over 60 years old you can have savings of up to £10,000 without it affecting your benefit. You may even get some help paying your bill if you have savings of up to £16,000. However, if you are entitled to Guarantee Pension Credit you may have savings of more than £16,000 and still qualify for Housing Benefit and Local Council Tax Support.

Please bear in mind that benefit will normally only be awarded from the Monday following the date you make your claim.

Reductions for Carers

Your council tax bill may be reduced if you care for another member of your household for more than 35 hours each week. The person you care for must be in receipt of (or entitled to) certain state benefits such as the higher rate Attendance Allowance or the highest rate of the care component of a Disability Living Allowance. (Under the current rules, you will not receive a reduction if you are a Carer for your partner or any of your children under the age of 18).

You may also receive a reduction if you work for a Council or a Charity as a Residential care worker. You must work for at least 24 hours each week and earn no more than £44 per week. A house left empty by somebody providing care to someone elsewhere is free from council tax, as is a house left empty by someone who is receiving care permanently in a Nursing Home or Hospital.

Reductions for People with Disabilities

Your council tax bill may also be reduced if you, or someone who lives with you is permanently disabled and, because of their disability, needs one of the following: 

  • A room which is not a kitchen, bathroom or toilet and is used mainly by the disabled person. You may need an extra room for therapy/treatment e.g. a room used mainly for therapy for an autistic child.
  • A second bathroom or a kitchen for the disabled person to use.
  • Extra space inside the home for a wheelchair - the wheelchair must be used indoors.

Reductions for People with Severe Mental Impairments

Your council tax bill may be reduced if you or someone you live with has a severe mental impairment such as Alzheimers or any form of dementia, including those associated with a Stroke. If the person with the severe mental impairment lives alone then their property will be exempt or free from council tax. If the person with the severe mental impairment lives in a property with other adults, the bill may be reduced because that person will not be counted for council tax purposes.

Council Tax Discounts

The full council tax bill is worked out based on 2 or more adults living in a property. If only 1 adult lives in a property the bill will be reduced by 25%.

Due to special circumstances some adults will also not be counted when we work out how much council tax you have to pay. These are:

  • People receiving care in nursing homes, care homes, hospitals and hostels.
  • People who are severely mentally impaired (includes those suffering from Alzheimers, Strokes and other forms of dementia).
  • School leavers or people aged 18 for whom you receive child benefit.
  • People aged 18 or 19 still in full-time education (other than those in Higher Education).
  • Full-time students & student nurses.
  • Youth trainees & apprentices.
  • Members of visiting overseas forces.
  • Members of certain religious communities.
  • People in prison (except for those in prison for non-payment of council tax or a fine).

Occupied Properties Free from Council Tax:

The following types of occupied property may be free from Council Tax:

  • Properties lived in only by people who are severely mentally impaired (includes those suffering from Alzheimers, Strokes and other forms of dementia).
  • Self-contained properties like ‘Granny Flats’ which are occupied by a dependant relative.
  • Halls of Residence or properties lived in only by students or by people under 18 years old.
  • Properties lived in by foreign diplomats or visiting armed forces
  • Properties owned by the Secretary of State and occupied by army personnel.

ANNEXES

If you live in an annexe and you are related to the person liable to pay the council tax of the main dwelling you may be entitled to a 50% discount in the amount of council tax that is due to be paid.

EMPTY PROPERTIES

Properties left empty and free from Council Tax for a set period:

  • Unoccupied and substantially unfurnished properties – free for 1 month.
  • Properties left empty after someone dies - free up to the date probate is granted, and then for a further 6 months (if ownership is not transferred).
  • Properties owned by charities and was last occupied in furtherance of the objects of the charity - free for 6 months.

Properties left empty and are exempt or free from Council Tax

In most cases the following properties are free from council tax:

  • properties left empty by people living permanently in hospital or homes; or by people receiving care elsewhere; or by people who are caring for someone else.
  • properties left empty because of a repossession.
  • properties left empty by students - provided it was their only or main home and is owned or rented by them.
  • properties left empty and awaiting occupation by a Minister of Religion.
  • properties left empty by prisoners - except for people who are in prison for not paying their council tax or a fine.
  • empty properties that are self-contained and cannot be let separately because they are attached to another property.

Properties left empty and council tax has to be paid:

A dwelling which is vacant - unoccupied and substantially unfurnished - and which has been empty for longer than one month will not receive any council tax discount.

Properties which are unoccupied but furnished will not receive any council tax discount. However, if you have to have a 2nd home because of your job you may still be entitled to a 50% discount.

Properties that need or are undergoing major repair work or structural alterations can receive a 50% discount for up to 12 months.

Properties left empty for 2 years or more:

If you own a property that has been empty and unfurnished for a period of 2 years or more you will be charged an empty homes premium. This premium has been set at 50% and means that you will be required to pay 150% of the council tax that has been set for the band which your property falls into.

ENVIRONMENT AGENCY - NORTH EAST REGION

The Environment Agency is a levying body for its Flood and Coastal Erosion Risk Management Functions under the Flood and Water Management Act 2010 and the Environment Agency (Levies) (England and Wales) Regulations 2011.

For further information please click on the following link:

Environment Agency

If you have any questions please contact customer services on 03708 506 506.

To report an incident telephone 0800 80 70 60 or a flood 0345 988 1188.

BENEFIT FRAUD IS BENEFIT THEFT

Everyone who commits benefit fraud is a benefit thief! Many people assume that benefit theft applies only to those who are working for ‘cash in hand’ whilst claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance. This is not the case. All benefit theft is crime.

Benefit theft includes:

  • not telling us that you are now living with a partner.
  • not telling us that you are receiving other benefits.
  • not telling us about any savings or not telling us the right amount.
  • Claiming for children who have left home.
  • not telling us that you have started work, or about any earnings.
  • not telling us that you have inherited money.
  • not telling us that you are going abroad, living abroad, or have changed address.

There are no exceptions. People who knowingly withhold information or deliberately fail to report a change in their circumstances are benefit thieves. It is not ‘playing the game’ – it is breaking the law!

DO YOU KNOW A BENEFIT CHEAT? REPORT IT NOW!

Telephone our 24 hour hotline in confidence – 01429 523157

If you have any questions about your council tax bill or the please contact us at:

Revenues & Benefits Section, Civic Centre, Hartlepool, TS24 8AY

Tel: 01429 284277 (Revenues) or 01429 284188 (Benefits)

Email: revenues@hartlepool.gov.uk or benefits@hartlepool.gov.uk

* POLICE & CRIME COMMISSIONER FOR CLEVELAND

There was a slight error on the back page of the Police and Crime Commissioner’s leaflet about the policing precept. The figure quoted in the table for the annual increase of a Band H property should have read £48.00, not £92.05.

Please see an updated table below: