Issue - meetings

Council Tax Base 2013/2014

Meeting: 18/12/2012 - Cabinet (Item 144)

144 Council Tax Base 2013/2014

Report of the Service Director Finance


Supporting documents:


Councillor John Brady, Cabinet member for Finance, Performance and Risk, introduced the report, which presented the Council Tax Base 2013-14 for Cabinet’s approval. 


The Council is required to approve its Council Tax Base annually, in accordance with the Local Government Finance Act 1992 and The Local Authorities (Calculation of Council Tax Base) Regulations 1992.  The Council Tax Base 2013-2014 has to be notified to major precepting authorities by 31 January 2013.  Each Parish and Town council is also notified of the figure for its area.


Councillor Brady also explained the changes to the calculation which were required under the Localism Act 2011, noting that the overall Council Tax Base was lower under the new arrangements, and that this would impact on Town and Parish Councils when setting their precepts. 


Wiltshire Council had undertaken to ensure there was no impact on Town and Parish Councils in 2013/14, as many had already set their precept.  However, concern was expressed over the potential impact of the new arrangements on Town and Parish Councils in future years, as precept increases had been capped at 3%. 


It was considered that this would have a particular impact on larger councils with full time staff, and on smaller councils for whom 3% would be a very small rise, and did not allow for any one-off expenditure.  It was also noted that the required referendum for any increases above 3% could incur costs which would require an even higher increase.  The Leader and Councillor Jon Hubbard, as Leader of the Opposition, undertook to write to DCLG to set out these concerns and to give some examples of the excellent projects undertaken by Town and Parish Councils as a result of one-off precept increases which had been fully supported by the community, and noting that similar projects may not be possible in the future as a result of these changes.




To approve the Council Tax Base 2013-2014; and approve in principle, subject to any further announcements, regulations or guidance, a new local grant arrangement as set out under the Government’s published response to the outcome of its consultation on providing certainty for local precepting authorities funding.


Reason for decision


Before the Council Tax can be set by the Council in February 2013 a calculation has to be made and approved of the Council Tax Base, which is an annual requirement as laid out in the Local Government Act.


In addition, under new guidance to account for coalition’s imposed changes to Wiltshire’s tax base arising from a need to introduce a new local Council Tax Support Scheme, the Council is required to agree a local arrangement with local precepting authorities to pass down funding to these bodies to ensure they do not suffer financial loss from the unintended consequences of this new scheme.