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Council tax support

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Important notice - Council Tax benefit has changed

What has changed?

From 1st April 2013, the national scheme of council tax benefit was abolished and replaced with a local council tax support scheme run by Burnley Borough Council.

The government reduced funding for the new scheme and this meant it was not possible to award the same amount of help towards the cost of council tax from April 2013.

What is the scheme?

The new council tax support scheme from April 2016 willl:-

  • Calculate support in the same means tested way as council tax benefit
  • Reduce the final benefit award by 17.5% for all claimants of working age

What does this mean for me?

If you previously received full council tax benefit, you will have to start paying something towards your council tax from April 2013. If you pay some council tax and receive some council tax support, your council tax bill will increase.

Example 1

Assuming council tax charged on a Band A property equals £1,125. A couple on income support would previously receive full benefit and would have no council tax to pay. Under the new council tax support scheme their benefit would be reduced by 17.5%, resulting in an annual bill of £196.88

Example 2

The same couple received annual council tax benefit of £500 and pay £625 in council tax. Under the new council tax support scheme, their award would be reduced by 17.5% to £412.50 resulting in an annual bill of £712.50

N.B. For illustrative purposes only - these figures do not represent the council tax charged by Burnley Council in 2016/17.

If you are of state pension age, you are not affected by the reduction in benefit.

Do I need to apply for council tax support?

If you are already receiving council tax benefit, you do not need to apply for council tax support. We will automatically transfer you onto the new scheme.

What do I do now?

Your council tax bill and council tax support letter will be sent to you in March. Please check them to ensure you know what you need to pay from April.

How do I pay?

There will be lots of information on the bill about how to pay and the Council has a number of payment methods to suit you. The easiest way to pay your council tax is to pay by direct debit. You can choose to have your direct debit payment taken out on the 1st,7th,16th, 23rd or 30th of the month. You also have the option of spreading the cost over the year by extending your instalments to March.

We will also be introducing a new fortnightly direct debit option from April to help people manage paying their council tax to fit in around fortnightly welfare benefit payments.

For peace of mind, you can set up a direct debit right away by contacting us or by visiting the council tax page

What if I am struggling to pay?

Many customers will not have had to pay council tax before so please contact the Council as soon as possible after receiving your bill if you are likely to have difficulty in making payments. We want to help you pay your council tax without incurring additional charges for non-payment, such as court summonses and liability order costs. These additional charges could significantly increase the amount you have to pay.

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