Your Council Tax and Business Rates explained
April 2013 – March 2014
- Council Tax Support Scheme
- Getting help to pay your bill
- How we deal with benefit cheats
- Changed your circumstances?
- Electronic Billing
- How your Council Tax is calculated
- Our Income and Expenditure
- How your money is spent 94.35 KB
- Non-domestic rates
- National non-domestic rating multiplier
- Setting rateable values
- Valuation appeals
- Rating advisers
- Transitional arrangements
- How can I reduce my bill?
- Information supplied with demand notices
- Other things that will affect your bill
Download the Precepts and Levies 2013-2014 leaflet 7.25 MB for:
- Police and Crime Commissioner for Greater Manchester
- Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Authority
- Greater Manchester Waste Disposal Authority (excluding Wigan MBC)
Councillor Kieran Quinn
Executive Leader, Tameside Council
We have to manage with £39 million less from central government and that’s on top of the £57 million that has already been cut from our budget over the last two years. Every £1 million cut in budget equates to about 30 job losses.
In fact, over the next four years, we will suffer an estimated £118 million of budget cuts – a huge challenge for the Borough.
We get 80% of our money from central government, and the huge reduction to our budget means we have to make some difficult and heart breaking decisions. Whilst our annual income is £378 million how we spend much of this money is not directly within our control. Almost half goes directly to schools and a further quarter is spent on social care where demand for services for vulnerable children and adults is continuing to rise.
Whilst, I will never take lightly any decision to cut any service, I will not compromise on protecting and keeping the most vulnerable in our society safe. I am committed to doing everything in my power to ensure the survival of services on which people rely so heavily. This means that other services have to be cut or scaled back. Unfortunately, these tend to be the more visible services that we all use and rely on - such as refuse collection, street cleaning, street lighting, libraries and highway maintenance. It is not a position I want to be in, but the stark reality is if we do not make these decisions we will not be able to provide essential services such as caring for our elderly, looking after people with health problems and keeping our young people safe.
We have already made huge budget reductions by reducing bureaucracy, closing buildings, halving the senior management team and reducing by nearly 2000 employees, with more still to go. We now have no choice but to prioritise frontline services over each other.
I know that some people with be unhappy about this, but leadership is about making tough choices and I will not back away from facing up to the challenge and doing everything I can to mitigate the impact. It may mean people travelling further to get to one of our libraries or paying more to use the car parks, and recycling more to reduce our landfill tax - but I hope that fair minded residents will agree that this is preferable to leaving the most vulnerable without support.
At the same time the Government is making changes to the welfare system, which will affect thousands of residents. The Government has abolished council tax benefit which will mean that from this April, thousands of Tameside households will receive council tax bills for the first time. Additionally, families living in rented accommodation face increased bills due the Government’s introduction of the Under Occupancy Penalty (“Bedroom Tax”). This presents us with further challenges if we are to protect and support the most vulnerable.
You will also read that the Government is offering a 1% grant to freeze council tax, but what you will not be told is that this will leave a financial black hole that can only be filled by cutting more jobs and vital services. Whilst there is no one who wants to see council tax increasing – especially at a time when so many household are struggling, we have no real choice.
So this year we have no option but to increase council tax by 3.5%. This will be the first increase we have made in two years, a period that has seen drastic government cuts and inflationary pressures erode our budgets. This increase is required in the main to pay for the levies for Greater Manchester Waste and Transport Authorities and to secure life and limb services for our elderly, frail and vulnerable residents.
This booklet will provide you with information about the Council’s budget, as well as helping you make sense of the Government’s welfare reform and how changes may impact upon you, and how we can help.
You will also be able to find out more about the difficult decisions we intend to make. Through the Big Conversation we want residents, businesses, service users and partners to fully engage and have their say on what we do, and how we do it. You can have your say on our plans for future services by joining in our Big Conversation or visiting one of our libraries.
The Government has decided that Council Tax Benefit will be abolished in April 2013 and be replaced with a local Council Tax Support Scheme.
Council Tax Benefit is currently a national welfare benefit scheme that helps people on a low income to pay their Council Tax. It is fully funded by the Government.
The Government is not fully funding the new scheme and has reduced the money available to councils. In Tameside, this means an overall reduction of approximately £3.2 million for the same or an increasing numbers of claimants.
Who will these changes affect?
- All current working age Council Tax Benefit residents will be affected by these changes
- All working age residents will see a reduction in their benefit entitlement
- All working age residents will have to pay a minimum of 20 per cent towards their Council Tax bill
- Pensioners will be protected and are not affected by the new scheme
Who will be able to get the new Council Tax Support?
- Everyone who is already receiving Council Tax Benefit will be assessed for the new Council Tax Support
- Anyone liable for Council Tax can apply for Council Tax Support
How much will I have to pay?
- The amount you have to pay towards your Council Tax is stated on your enclosed Council Tax bill
- You can check your new entitlement online by visiting the Council Tax Support Scheme page
Will I have to re-apply?
- If you currently receive Council Tax Benefit you will not have to re-apply under the new scheme. You will automatically be re-assessed using the new rules
- New customers will have to complete an application form – see the Council tax benefit page.
If you find monthly payments difficult, you can arrange to pay your bill weekly or fortnightly. If you choose this method you will need to notify us so that we can amend your instalment details.
You can arrange to pay your Council Tax bill by 12 monthly instalments. If you choose this method you will need to contact the Council Tax Team on 0161 342 2015 by the 5 April 2013 so that we can amend your instalment details.
If you are experiencing difficulties, please make early contact with us by using the contact details at the back of this booklet. We will check that your bill is correct, and identify any reductions you may be entitled to that you have not claimed.
I am struggling to meet my commitments and cannot pay my council tax bill
If you are struggling meeting all your commitments free debt advice can be obtained from the following places:
A drop in service is available from the Citizens Advice Bureau who are based in the Council Offices in Ashton, the service is available from Monday to Friday from 9.30 – 12.30
0808 808 4000
Tameside MBC Debt Advice Service
A debt advice surgery is held on the first and third Thursday of the month at Customer Services, Ashton-under-Lyne, between 9.30am – 12 noon
If you are at risk of losing your home due to rent or mortgage arrears, contact Tameside MBC Debt Advice Service on Freephone 0800 328 0008.
For Help with Housing Matters
0161 331 2700
0844 515 1640
I would like some independent advice on welfare benefits
If you would like free, confidential advice on matters of welfare benefits and tax credits contact the following organisations:
Tameside MBC Welfare Rights Service
0800 074 9985, Monday, Wednesday and Thursday 9.30am - 12.30pm
Tameside Citizens Advice Bureau
0161 330 2156
Full Council Tax assumes there are two adults living in the dwelling. If only one adult lives in a dwelling the Council Tax will be reduced by 25%.
If the property is furnished and another property in England or Wales is your main residence, you will be required to pay 100% of the Council Tax charge.
Long Term Empty
If the property is unfurnished/furnished and is not your only or main residence you will be required to pay 100% of the Council Tax Charge.
Long Term Empty over 24 months
If the property is unfurnished and is not your only or main residence and has been empty for more than 24 months, you will be required to pay 150% of the Council Tax Charge.
Some people are not counted when looking at the number of adults resident in a property if they meet certain conditions.
You may be eligible to a discount if:
- full-time students, student nurses, apprentices, youth training trainees and initial teacher-training trainees
- patients resident in hospital
- people who are being looked after in care homes
- people who are severely mentally impaired
- people staying in certain hostels or night shelters
- 18 to 19-year-olds who are at, or have just left, school
- care workers working for low pay. Usually for charities
- people caring for someone with a disability who is not a spouse, partner or child under 18
- members of visiting forces and certain international institutions
- people in prison (except those in prison for non-payment of Council Tax or a fine)
For a full list of all discounts or for further information visit the Council Tax Discounts page.
If you or someone who lives with you (adult or child) has a room or an extra bathroom or kitchen, or extra space in your property to meet special needs arising from a disability, you may be entitled to a reduction in your Council Tax.
The bill may be reduced to that of a band immediately below that shown on the valuation list. If your home is in band A you will already be in the lowest Council Tax band.
However, you may still qualify for a reduction. Contact us for further advice on 0161 342 2015.
Forms are also available on the Council Tax Disability Reduction page.
If your bill indicates that a discount, exemption, or disability reduction has been allowed, you must tell Tameside Council within 21 days of any change in circumstances which affects your entitlement to this discount.
If you fail to do so you may be required to pay a penalty of £70.
You may appeal against your property banding where:
- You believe that the banding should be changed because of an increase or reduction in the value of the property due to building work being carried out on the dwelling, i.e. demolition, extensions or converting the property from houses to flats;
- You adapt part of your dwelling for business use and it is entered into the Non Domestic Rating list;
- The listing officer has altered a list without a proposal having been made by a taxpayer;
- Physical changes in the locality affecting value; or within 6 months of the following: A band change to your property made by the listing officer; a band change made to a similar property to yours has been made by a tribunal or court; you have become a taxpayer at the property in the last 6 months.
Reductions or increases in value resulting from the general state of the housing market do not affect the banding of your property.
If your property is derelict and not fit for occupation
The Valuation Office Agency may consider removing a banding in these circumstances.
All appeals should be made directly to the Valuation Office Agency
Further information regarding challenging your band can be found on www.gov.uk/council-tax-appeals/challenge-your-band
Making an appeal does not allow you to withhold payment of Council Tax. Payments should continue to be made in accordance with the instalments shown on your bill. If your appeal is successful you will be entitled to a refund of any overpaid Council Tax.
Your appeal should be sent to:
The Listings Officer
Council Tax North
Valuation Office Agency
King William House
03000 501 501
You may also appeal if you think that you are not liable to pay Council Tax, for example, because you are not the owner, or because the property is exempt, or you believe that we have made a mistake in calculating your bill. If you wish to appeal on these grounds you must first notify us in writing so that we have the opportunity to reconsider the case. Please write to Tameside Revenues Division, Council Offices, Wellington Road, Ashton-under-Lyne, OL6 6DL.
Making an appeal does not allow you to withhold payment of Council Tax. Payments should continue to be made in accordance with the instalments shown on your bill. If your appeal is successful you will be entitled to a refund of any overpaid Council Tax.
Benefit fraud affects everyone. People who make fraudulent benefit claims are not just cheating the system - they are cheating the whole community.
The Council has a dedicated benefit fraud investigation team, committed to the prevention, detection and deterrence of false claims. Report anyone that you suspect is committing benefit fraud directly to the benefit fraud team on 0161 342 2698, visit the Benefit Fraud page or use the online fraud reporting form. Alternatively, call the benefit fraud hotline freephone on 0800 328 6340.
All allegations are treated in the strictest confidence. You do not have to tell us your name.
Please provide as much information and detail as possible, as the more information we are given, the more likely it is that the investigation will have a successful outcome.
The Council will take necessary and appropriate action against any person who has committed benefit fraud, which includes prosecuting benefit cheats. In some cases, the Council will take action to remove the proceeds of benefit fraud crime by pursuing a confiscation of assets.
Contact us now - all reports will be treated in the strictest confidence.
Remember, benefit fraud is a crime.
No if's, no buts, the council is targeting benefit thieves.
Please tell us immediately of any changes in your circumstances, which may affect your Council Tax liability.
These are some of the changes that should be reported:
- If you move house
- Someone comes to live with you
- Someone leaves your property
- If you feel you should be entitled to a discount or any of the exemptions
- If you cease to be employed or start work
The Council is continually aiming to improve its service to you.
Electronic billing for Council Tax is now available. This is a more effective and efficient way to receive your Council Tax bill.
If you wish to view all future bills online then you will need to register/login with Self Service.
Most home/homes will be subject to Council Tax. There will be one bill per home/homes whether it is a house, bungalow, flat, maisonette, mobile home or houseboat, and whether it is owned or rented. The District Valuer has allocated each property to one of eight valuation bands according to its market value on 1 April 1991.
|Property Valuation Band||Tameside £||Mossley £|
|A (Up to and including £40,000)||944.42||948.90|
|B (£40,001 - £52,000)||1101.83||1107.06|
|C (£52,001 - £68,000)||1259.23||1265.20|
|D (£68,001 - £88,000)||1416.64||1423.36|
|E (£88,001 - £120,000)||1731.44||1739.65|
|F (£120,001 - £160,000)||2046.25||2055.96|
|G (£160,001 - £320,000)||2361.06||2372.26|
|H (More than £320,000)||2833.28||2846.72|
This table details the amount of Council Tax payable by band, including Mossley Parish precept.
Where we get our money from
|Locally retained business rates||£26.2 million|
|Central Governments grants||£112.2 million|
|Local Council Tax||£65 million|
|Schools - spending determined by governing bodies||£170.6 million|
Where we get our money from - £378 million
The council’s budget is made up partly from central government grants and partly from money raised through council tax and business rates. This year we will have £22million less to spend as a result of central government budget cuts, localisation of council tax support and changes to how income from business rates is allocated.
Where we spend our money
|Other services including street lighting, libraries, grass cutting, playgrounds, parks etc.||£22.1 million|
|Refuse collection and highways||£49.3 million|
|Adults and Children’s Social Care and Safeguarding||£136.0 million|
|Schools - spending determined by governing bodies||£170.6 million|
Where we spend our money - £378 million
As with any household budget, not all of the Council’s income is disposable spend. Money for schools, Public Health, capital and other financial costs and housing benefit and council tax support costs all have to be budgeted for before we can decide what we spend on the rest of our services.
This leaves around £161million for all other services. It also includes spending on Children’s and Adult’s social care which whilst this expenditure is within the Council control, much of these costs are demand led. The more vulnerable the children and adults needing care, the higher the costs.
Over the next two years due to Government imposed cuts, rising demands for services and inflationary pressures, Tameside Council will have £39 million less to spend on services for local residents and businesses. This is on top of £104 million that the Council has had cut from its budgets since 2010.
Tameside Cumulative Cuts to Budgets
The diagram above shows the impact of the cuts to the Council’s budget since 2010.
These cuts mean that this year we will have important decisions to make on what we continue to do, how we do it, and what we stop doing.
Whilst we do not want to cut back on services that residents and businesses expect and rely on, during the next twelve months we will be forced into taking decisions to reduce services so that we don’t overspend.
The scale of cuts we face is unprecedented and the impact on the services we deliver will be far reaching. We will continue to deliver quality services and support the most vulnerable and frail but how we do this will have to change significantly.
These cuts will affect every resident and business and so we want as many local people as possible to have their say on the decisions that we make.
Cumulative Cuts to budget each year
We will be doing all we can to make these savings through improving our processes, reducing staff and bringing in more income. We will be reducing the number of buildings the Council operates from and using our bulk buying power to get better deals. However we will be forced to make some very tough decisions and these are the ones that we will be asking for your views on over the next few months:
Neighbourhoods and the Environment
- stop patroller service and redesign all frontline working
- reduce CCTV coverage across the Borough
- a reduction in leisure centres
- reduce how much we spend on sport through the Sports Trust
- reduce street cleansing and grounds maintenance
- reduce planting and flower baskets
- stopping health and safety inspection of low and medium risk business premises
- stop routine maintenance and lighting checks and respond to complaints only
- disposal of underutilised car parks and new charges introduced on remaining
- significantly reduce highway maintenance by dealing with high risk repairs only and stop local highway improvement schemes altogether
- reduce winter gritting programme so that we only cover priority routes
- reduce the number of children’s centres
- reduce the amount of youth service provision
- reduce school transport provision
- reduce amount we spend on children with disabilities
- reduce amount we spend on children who are offenders
- reduce amount we spend on connexions services
- reduce spend on transport by 50% over the period 2013/2015
- redesign meals provision
- externalise a number of home maker properties to the independent sector
- reduce capacity in Employment services
- reduce home care support services
Non-domestic rates, or business rates, are the way businesses contribute towards the cost of local services. With effect from 1 April 2013 the Government will no longer pool the rates and redistribute them to the local Council according to the number of people living in the borough. The rates collected by the Council will instead be shared equally between central Government and the local authority. The council’s share, together with revenue from council tax payers and other income, will then be used to pay for the services we provide.
We work out the business rates bill by multiplying the rateable value of the property by the multiplier or poundage, which the Government sets for the whole of England on the 1 April each year. There are two multipliers – the standard non-domestic rating multiplier and the small-business rating multiplier.
The standard multiplier is higher, to pay for small business rate relief. The multipliers change each year in line with inflation and to take account of the cost of Small Business Rate Relief. The current multiplier used will be shown on the front of your bill.
Apart from properties that are exempt from business rates, each non-domestic property has a rateable value, which is set by Valuation Officers from the Valuation Office Agency (VOA), part of HM Revenue and Customs. The agency draws up and keeps a full list of all rateable values. The list is available on the VOA website .
Your property’s rateable value will be shown on the front of your bill. The rateable value represents the yearly rent the property could have been let for on the open market on a particular date. For the revaluation that came into effect on 1 April 2010, this date was set as 1 April 2008.
The Valuation Officer may alter the rateable value if the circumstances have changed. The ratepayer (and certain others who have an interest in the property) can also appeal against the rateable value shown in the rating list if they believe it is wrong. You can get more information on the grounds for making an appeal, and on how to make an appeal, on the VOA website or by contacting David Grace BSc (Hons) MRICS, Valuation Officer, Non-domestic Rates North West, Valuation Office Agency, 72 Church Street, Liverpool L1 3AY. Tel. 0300 501501
If you have appealed against your rateable value, you must still pay the amount on your bill. You cannot withhold payment until you get the result of your appeal. However, if your appeal is successful, you can contact the Business Rates Team by telephone on 0161 342 2045 or send the Business Rates Team a message
You do not have to be represented in discussions about your rateable value or your rates bill. You can appeal against the rateable value free of charge. However, if you do want to be represented, you should be aware that members of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS – website www.rics.org/uk) and the Institute of Revenue’s Rating and Valuation (IRRV – website www.irrv.org. uk) are qualified and regulated by rules of professional conduct designed to protect you. Before you employ a rating adviser, you should check that they have the knowledge and expertise needed, as well as appropriate indemnity insurance. Take great care and, if necessary, seek further advice before entering into any contract.
Property valuations normally change between each revaluation. Transitional arrangements help to phase in the effects of these changes by limiting the amount a bill can rise by following a revaluation.
To help pay for limits on increases in bills after revaluation, there are also limits on reductions in bills. Under the transition scheme, limits continue to apply to yearly increases and decreases in the period following the 5 year life of the scheme until the full bill is payable, (rateable value times the multiplier).
The scheme applies only to the bill based on a property’s value at the time of revaluation. If there were any changes to the property after 1 April 2010, transitional arrangements would not normally apply to the part of the bill where there has been any increase in rateable value. Changes to your bill as a result of other reasons (such as changes to the amount of small business rate relief) are not covered by the transitional arrangements.
As well as reducing your property’s rateable value, you can get other relief to bring down your bill. These include the following:
Empty Property Rating
In general, there will be no business rates to pay for the first 3 months that a property is empty. This is extended to 6 months in the case of certain industrial properties. After this you must pay the full rates unless the Government has reduced the empty rate. In most cases, the empty property rate is zero for properties owned by charities or amateur sports clubs.
You may not have to pay empty property rate if you meet certain conditions (known as exemptions). Please contact us for full details.
If the Government has reduced the empty property rate for the financial year, the new rate will be shown on your bill. From 1 April 2011 the empty rateable value threshold has reduced to £2,600; therefore properties with a rateable value which does not exceed £2,599 will be exempt from empty property rates.
Extension of Empty Property Rate Relief for Empty New Builds
The Government has introduced a new measure to extend empty property rate relief for empty new builds. Empty new builds will be exempt from empty property rates for up to 18 months up to state aid limits between 1 October 2013 and 30 September 2016. The 18 month period includes the initial 3 or 6 month exemption.
The relief continues beyond 31 October 2016 for those that become eligible before that date.
Partly Occupied Properties
You are liable for the full non-domestic rate whether the property is fully or only partly used. If you only use part of a property for a short time, in certain circumstances, we can apply to the Valuation Office Agency to award a temporary reduction for the part that is not in use.
Small Business Rate Relief (SBRR)
This relief is only available to ratepayers who occupy either:
- One property, or
- One main property and other additional properties providing those additional properties have a rateable value of less than £2,599.
The rateable value of the property mentioned in (a), or the aggregated rateable value of all properties mentioned in (b), must be under £18,000 outside London on every day for which relief is sought. If the rateable value increases above those levels, relief will cease from the day of the increase.
If you meet these conditions we will work out your bill for your single or main property using the lower small business non-domestic rating multiplier rather than the ordinary non-domestic rating multiplier that is used to calculate the liability of other businesses.
Also, if the single or main property is shown on the rating list with a rateable value of up to £12,000, you will receive a percentage reduction in your rates bill for this property.
Due to the financial climate the Government changed the level of SBRR for a period of 12 months from 1 October 2010 to 30 September 2011. This has now been extended to 31 March 2014. From 1 October 2010, properties with a rateable value of £6,000 or less did not have to pay Business Rates with a tapered relief between 100% and 0% for properties with rateable values between £6,001 and £12,000.
From April 2014, the levels of SBRR will change and this means that rate payers who have a property with a rateable value of £6,000 or less will have to pay 50% of their Business Rates bill, with a tapered relief between 50% and 0% for properties with rateable values between £6,001 and £12,000.
We grant your relief as long as your circumstances do not change.
You must tell us about the following changes in your circumstances:
- You start to occupy a property you did not occupy at the time of making your application for relief.
- There is an increase in the rateable value which does not exceed £2,599.
You must tell us about these changes within four weeks of the day following the date the changed happened.
As long as you do this there will be no interruption to your entitlement to the relief. You must make a new application for relief if you have started to occupy another property.
If you do not take on any more properties, you will only have to make a claim once, although there are regular reviews of all relief granted. To tell us about an increase in rateable value, you must provide details in writing.
Full details on the eligibility criteria and how to apply for this relief are available by contacting business rates on 0161 342 2045, sending the Business Rates Team a message or by visiting the Business Rates page.
Charitable Relief and Registered Community Amateur Sports Clubs Relief
Charities and registered Community Amateur Sports Clubs are entitled to 80% relief where the property is occupied by the charity or club and is wholly or mainly used for charitable purposes or as a registered Community Amateur Sports Club.
The Council also has discretion to award further relief on the remaining bill.
Non-Profit making organisation relief
The Council has discretion to give relief to non-profit making organisations. We will judge each case on its merits and in accordance with the Council’s qualifying criteria.
The Council has discretion to give relief in special circumstances. Evidence to substantiate a claim will be required and each case will be judged in accordance with qualifying criteria.
If you are not getting any of the types of reliefs mentioned above and think you may qualify, simply contact us.
Information relating to the relevant and previous financial years in regard to the gross expenditure of the local authority is available on the Business Rates page. A hard copy is available on request.
What should I do if I am having difficulty paying my bill?
We understand that people sometimes have difficulty paying their bills. Please contact us as soon as possible so that we can agree a payment plan. We will try our best to help you.
What should I do if I move my business?
You should tell us as soon as possible if any of the details on your bill, or other related matters, need changing.
If you are moving your business, please tell us so that we can change our records and send an apportioned bill.
We will need to know the date you are moving, your new address, the date the lease runs out if this applies, the name and address of the owner or landlord of your old property, and the person moving into it, if known.
What should I do if my circumstances change?
If you are currently receiving an empty-rate exemption or charitable relief or discretionary relief, you should contact us if any of your circumstances have changed, which may affect your entitlement.
What should I do if I think my bill is incorrect?
Please contact us and tell us why you think your bill is incorrect. Please quote your billing number and address of the property concerned each time you contact us.
Direct Debit is our preferred method of collecting your Council Tax or Business Rates. It is cost-effective, efficient and couldn’t be simpler. Just contact us with your bank details or print and complete a direct debit instruction from the Council’s Payment page.
On the web
To make a payment go to the Council Tax page.
To check your Council Tax balance and inform us of any changes why not register for our new self service system? Go to the Self Service System.
Payments by debit/credit card can be made on our 24-hour payment line 0844 848 2566. Please note; there is a 2% charge for payments made by Credit Card
Council Tax or Business Rates payments can be made by standing order at your bank. See the back of your bill for further details.
Payments can also be made at:
- The Post Office
- At any paypoint or payzone outlet, using your Council Tax or Business Rates bill
Full payment details can be found on the back of your Council Tax or Business Rates bill.