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Coronavirus and Council Tax payments
We are aware that some residents may have been affected financially by Coronavirus restrictions. Over the past 16 months, in order to support residents throughout the pandemic, the Council has paid out over £300,000 in extra council tax relief. However, most households are still required to pay Council Tax as normal and so we have a duty to take action if your payments are overdue.
The Council has taken a light touch approach to the collection of overdue council tax during the pandemic. Over the last few months restrictions have been gradually eased and, with effect from 19 July, the rest of the restrictions are planned to be lifted. The Council has a duty to collect council tax to fund public services, and to take action if payments are overdue, and must now fulfil its duty.
Therefore, if you have not paid your council tax in accordance with your bill, we may contact you about the action that will be taken to collect the overdue balance. However, if you have been affected and believe you will have difficulty meeting your instalments, we are here to help.
Please contact us on 01629 818222 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org so that we can help you to get your payments back on track or provide help and advice if you are experiencing financial difficulties.
Independent help is also available via Citizen’s Advice on 0300 456 8390 or Step Change via www.stepchange.org where there is a variety of advice online for a range of debt problems.
Derbyshire Dales District Council needs income to provide services to the community including refuse collection, housing, leisure facilities, planning and development services and environmental services.
There are rules for who is liable to pay the Council Tax. In general, where a dwelling is occupied, the owners (if it is owner/occupied) or tenants (if it is rented) will be liable, provided they are aged 18 or over. Only persons aged 18 or over are classed as residents of a dwelling.
Most dwellings are subject to Council Tax. There is one bill per dwelling, whether it is a house, bungalow, flat, maisonette, mobile home or houseboat, and whether it is owned or rented. Each dwelling has been allocated to one of eight bands according to its open market capital value at 1st April 1991.
Since 1st April 2013, Councils have been able to make an additional charge, called a premium, in respect of properties that have been unoccupied and substantially unfurnished for 24 months or longer. Many Councils have been charging the premium since then. Derbyshire Dales District Council didn’t originally charge the premium but decided to introduce it from 1st April 2019. Therefore, unless an exemption from Council Tax applies, a premium of 100% is payable on any property that has been unoccupied and substantially unfurnished for 24 months or longer (meaning that twice the usual rate of Council Tax is payable). It should be noted that this 24 month period does not restart if there is a change in the ownership of the property – it always runs from the first day that the property became unoccupied and substantially unfurnished.
Derbyshire Dales District Council decided to introduce the premium in order to encourage owners of long term empty homes to bring them back in to use through sale or renting.