113 Setting of the Council Tax Base for 2024/25
To consider a report from the Chief Executive and Deputy Chief Executive.
Cllr Nick Botterill, Cabinet Member for Finance, Development Management and Strategic Planning presented a report to ensure that the Council Tax Base for 2024/25 is set and approved by the statutory date of 31 January 2024 on which the Council, major precepting authorities and local precepting authorities set their precepts and budgets for 2024/25.
Cllr Botterill explained that 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 (England)) Regulations 2012. The Council Tax Base 2024/25 must be notified to Major Precepting Authorities (the Office of the Police & Crime Commissioner for Wiltshire & Swindon and Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service) and Local Precepting Authorities (Town and Parish Councils) by 31 January 2024.
He reminded Cabinet they at its meeting on 12 September 2023 they approved to consult on proposals to changes to the Council Tax Reduction (CTR) Scheme for working aged people. The report provided an update on the results of the consultation, and also raised awareness of changes to legislation giving council’s the discretionary power to add premiums of up to 300% to those owning second homes.
It was noted that a further report will be brought to Cabinet with recommendations on premium charges following the enactment of the Levelling Up and Regeneration Bill for England.
Cllr Chris Williams, Vice-Chairman of the Overview and Scrutiny Management Committee commented on behalf of the Financial Planning Task Group which met on 8 December and considered the report. The Task Group welcomed the report and supported its proposals, although they felt that adding the precept for 2023/23 would have been a useful comparator to the tax base for 2024/25 as detailed in the appendix to the report.
Cabinet to approve:
1. The Council Tax Base 2024/25 of £194,423.87;
2. That the Chief Finance Officer (Director, Finance & Procurement (S151 Officer)) is given delegated authority to determine the estimated Collection Fund balances (Council Tax and Business Rates) as of 31 March 2024 by 15 January 2024.
3. To note the results of the Council Tax Reduction Scheme review consultation.
Reason for Decision:
Before the Council Tax can be set by the Council in February 2024 a calculation must be made and approved of the Council Tax Base, which is an annual requirement as laid out in the Local Government Finance Act 1992. The council must set this and notify major and local precepting authorities by 31 January 2024.
Following the public consultation on proposed changes to the Council Tax Reduction scheme it is best practice to report back to Cabinet the results and any recommendations to be considered.