Measures are available to help those who are financially-stretched and least able to pay their Council Tax as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak.
The Government has announced funding which is available to councils to help provide support to residents who are experiencing hardship.
All people of working age, in receipt of Council Tax Support (CTS) during the forthcoming financial year, 2020-21, and have an outstanding amount of Council Tax to pay, will have their balance reduced by up to £150. This is equivalent to around 10% or more of the total bill for most people.
The Council is working hard to identify those customers who qualify for this. Once this has taken place, Council Tax accounts will be updated and revised bills will be issued.
The Council will monitor any further statements from the Government and update our advice and support mechanisms accordingly.
It may also be with checking whether you are entitled to any discounts, which can be found listed within the Council Tax Leaflet posted on the Council’s website at www.n-kesteven.gov.uk/counciltax
The Council’s immediate priority during the outbreak and the period of uncertainty that it has caused is to do everything it can to keep its residents safe and healthy and maintain the essential services that it provides to support its residents. For this it needs reliable funding, so it cannot simply waive the Council Tax.
If you are unable to pay your Council Tax during this time, the Council suggests you consider the following actions:
· Make a claim for Council Tax Support – this is a means tested reduction in your Council Tax based upon the income you receive. There are certain restrictions. Details of this and how to claim can be found on the website’s Council Tax pages: https://www.n-kesteven.gov.uk/residents/council-tax-and-housing-benefit/council-tax-support-and-housing-benefits/
· Delay some or all of your payments. If you normally pay over ten months, you could opt to move your two free months to the start, rather than the end of the year. Or you could move some of your payments to later in the year.
Email the Council Tax service on firstname.lastname@example.org or call us on 01529 414155 to see what we can do. Be aware that there may be significant delay on the phones because of increased demand on council services at this time.
If you are able to make your payments as normal, that is great and will greatly assist the Council in its work to combat the virus. However for your own and other’s safety and to limit social contacts, we would ask you not to make payments at the Post Office, newsagents and other public places. If possible set up a direct debit online at www.n-kesteven.gov.uk/ctdirectdebit