Council Tax - explanatory notes

Council Tax Valuation Bands

You have to pay Council Tax on most domestic properties.  There's one bill per home, whether it's a house, bungalow, flat, maisonette, mobile home or houseboat, and whether it's owned or rented.

Each property has been allocated one of eight bands.  These are worked out on how much it would be worth, using the date of 1 April 1991 as the benchmark.  Homes built after this date are also considered in line with what they would have been worth had they been built at the that time.

Here are the different valuation bands.

         A                       Up to and including £40,000           E            £88,001 - £120,000

         B                       £40,001 - £52,000                                 F            £120,001 - £160,000

         C                       £52,001 - £68,000                                 G           £160,001 - £320,000

         D                       £68,001 - £88,000                                 H           More than £320,000

Discounts    

The full Council Tax bill assumes that two or more adults are living there as their main home. If only one adult lives there (as their main home), the Council Tax bill will be reduced by 25%. 

If you've been given a discount to which you don't believe you're entitled, or are only entitled to a discount of a smaller amount, you're legally required to tell us within 21 days.  If you don't, you could face a £70 fine.

Council Tax penalties – failure to notify or supply information

We may impose a penalty of £70:

  • if you don't tell us, without reasonable excuse, about anything which affects your entitlement to a discount;
  • if you don't tell us if your home is no longer expempt from paying Council Tax;
  • if you don't tell us that you're jointly liable for the tax;
  • if you don't supply relevant information we ask for in order to establish whether or not you need to pay;
  • if you don't supply relevant information we ask for after a Liability Order has been issued - failure to do this could lead to a criminal prosecution and a fine.

Where a penalty has been imposed and a further request to supply the same information is made, a further penalty of £280 may be imposed for each time the relevant information isn't supplied, provided:

  • this information is in your possession;
  • we make a request for this to be supplied;
  • it falls within a prescribed description of information we need.

 

Appeals

Appeals against penalties can be made to the Valuation Tribunal.

How to appeal

To appeal against a penalty, you must contact the Valuation Tribunal within two months of receiving the notice from us. You must do this in writing and you must include a copy of the notice with your appeal.  You can get an appeal form from the Valuation Tribunal website or they can send you one.

Evidence

The Valuation Tribunal will need to hear that you either don't have this information or that it was provided as requested.  You should bring along some proof of posting if you believe that you've supplied the information.

Decision

There is no right of appeal to a higher court if you disagree with the Valuation Tribunal’s decision.

Disregarded People

These people don't count towards the number of adults we count as living in a house.

Full time students

Apprentices

Student Nurses

Youth Training Trainees

Patients resident in hospital

People who're being looked after in Care Homes

People who're severely mentally impaired

People staying in certain hostels or night shelters

Careworkers working for low pay (usually for charities)

People caring for someone with a disability who isn't a spouse, partner or child under 18

18 & 19 year olds who are at or have just left school

Members of visiting forces

Members of certain International Institutions

People with Diplomatic privileges and immunities

Members of religious communities (monks & nuns)

People in prison (except those in prison for non- payment of Council Tax or a fine)

People with Disabilities

If you, or someone you live with, needs a room, an extra bathroom or kitchen, or extra space in your property to meet special needs because of a disability, you may be entitled to a reduction in Council Tax.  The charge may be reduced by one band, and there are special arrangements in place so that Band A properties can also get a reduction.  This is in place to ensure that disabled people don't pay more tax on account of space needed because of a disability.  Contact us if you think this could apply to you.

Exempt Dwellings

You don't have to pay Council Tax on some homes.  This includes homes lived in only by students.  It also applies to empty homes which:

  • are unfurnished (you can get a one-month without having to pay, then a 20% discount for the next 5 months);
  • are owned by a charity (exempt for up to six months);
  • are left empty by someone who's gone into prison;
  • are left empty by someone who's moved to receive personal care in a hospital or a home;
  • are left empty by someone who's moved in order to provide personal care to someone else;
  • are left empty by students;
  • are waiting for probate or letters of administration to be granted (and for up to six months after);
  • have been repossessed;
  • are the responsibility of a bankrupt's trustee;
  • are empty because by law they can't be lived in;
  • are waiting to be occupied by a minister of religion;
  • are unoccupied caravan pitches and moorings;
  • are only occupied by people under 18 years old;
  • are empty 'granny flats' or annexes which can't be let separately;
  • are only occupied by severely mentally impaired people;
  • are occupied by someone who has diplomatic privileges or immunities;
  • are 'granny flats' or annexes occupied by an elderly dependant relative aged over 65; or a
  • dependant relative who's substantially or permanently disabled.

Armed Forces barracks and married quarters are also exempt from Council Tax; their occupants will contribute to the cost of local services through a special arrangement.

Contact us if you think your property may be exempt.

Annexes

There's a 50% reduction in the amount of Council Tax that needs to be paid for people living in annexes, provided they're related to the person who's paying Council Tax in the main part of the home.  This also applies to people living in homes with annexes which aren't lived in, provided they're using the annexes as part of their main residence.  If you think you may qualify please contact us.

Council Tax Support

In some cases you can get help with paying Council Tax.

  • If you and - if applicable - your partner, are on a low income  (if you or your partner have more than £16,000 in capital you aren't entitled to support unless you're receiving a Pension Credit guarantee).
  • You're the only person liable to pay council Tax and you're of pension age, but have a second adult living with you who is on a low income.  This is known as Second Adult Rebate.
  • You're the only person liable to pay Council Tax and are a full-time student, but have a second adult living in the property who is no longer a student (so no longer a property occupied exclusively by students) and you're in receipt of certain benefits.

For more information about Council Tax Support, or if you would like an application form, please contact us. But please keep paying your advised Council Tax, as your application doesn't mean you'll automatically qualify for support.

Protecting all Council Tax payers

We're determined to prevent Housing Benefit and Council Tax Support fraud. If you have any information on suspected fraud you can contact our fraud protection team on 01904 552935, or you can email.  Your information will be treated in the strictest confidence.  If you have a speech or hearing problem you can use a text phone service on 0800 328 0512

Adult Social Care

The Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government has made an offer to adult social care authorities, which in our area is North Yorkshire County Council.

The offer is the option of an adult social care authority being able to charge an additional 'precept' on its Council Tax for financial years from the financial year beginning in 2016 without holding a referendum, to assist the authority in meeting expenditure on adult social care.  Subject to the annual approval of the House of Commons, the Secretary of State intends to offer the option of charging this 'precept' at an appropriate level in each financial year up to and including the financial year 2019-20.

Appeals

The grounds for appeal about the band of your property must be along the following lines.

  • Where you believe the banding should be changed because there's been a material increase or material reduction (this is explained below) in the value of your home.
  • Where you start or stop using part of your home to carry out a business, or the balance between domestic and business use changes.
  • Where the Listing Officer has altered a list without a proposal having been made by a taxpayer.
  • Where you become the taxpayer in respect of a property for the first time.  Your appeal must be made within six months, but if the same appeal has already been considered and determined by a Valuation Tribunal, it can't be made again.

material increase in value may result from building, engineering or other work carried out on the home.  In these cases revaluation does not take place until after a sale - so the person appealing would usually be the new owner or resident.

material reduction in value may because part of the home has been demolished, or there's a change in the physical state of the local area or an adaptation to make the property suitable for use by someone with a physical disability.  In these cases revaluation should take place as soon as possible.

The responsibility for the banding of dwellings lies with the Valuation Office Agency and not Selby District Council.  Please contact the Valuation Office Agency on 03000 501501 for details on how to make an appeal.

You may also appeal to the Valuation Tribunal if you don't believe that a property is a chargeable dwelling or that you're liable to pay Council Tax for it.  That is, if you believe that the property is exempt, that you're not the resident or owner, or that the Council has made a mistake in calculating your bill.  In the first instance, however, you should make an appeal to us.  If you're not happy with our response, you may make a further appeal to the Valuation Tribunal.

Making an appeal does not allow you to withhold payment of Council Tax owing in the meantime.  If your appeal is successful you will be entitled to a refund of any overpaid Council Tax.

How we collect and use information

We'll use the information you provide for the billing and collection of Council Tax, or any claim for Housing Benefit and Council Tax Support, in connection with any lawful activity of the Council.

We have a duty to protect public money. That means we may also use information held about you for the prevention and detection of fraud.  We may check information you've provided, or information about you that someone else has provided, with other information held by us.

We may also get information about you from certain other organisations, or give them information.  This is to make sure the information is accurate, to prevent or detect crime, or to help us protect public money.  The other organisations we can share information with include the Department for Work and Pensions and Revenues and Customs; other government departments and other councils. We may also provide information for 'data matching' with the Audit Commission, the Department for Work and Pensions and credit reference agencies as the law allows.  This is part of our check to make sure information is accurate.

We won't give information about you to anyone else, or use information about you for other purposes, unless the law allows us to.

We're the data controller for the purposes of the Data Protection Act. If you want to know more about what information we have about you, or the way we use that information, please ask us.

Information supplied with your Council Tax bill

Find out more about the how how each organisation that receives funding from Council Tax is spending this money.