Council Tax shake-up to hit the pockets of Wealden district homeowners and claiments

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JPSE-02-11-12-003
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A shake-up of council tax charges will hit property owners and those claiming benefits under proposals set out by the district council.

Wealden District Council (WDC) is holding a consultation on plans to halt Council Tax exemptions in a bid to plug a £1million blackhole left by cuts in central government funding.

The council wants to stop tax discounts on houses left vacant while building work takes place, when property is being repossessed and cut the 10 per cent council tax discount on second home owners.

The amount of Council Tax Benefit people of working age can claim would also be affected under the proposals.

The changes would help offset a 10 per cent cut in council tax subsidies from central government, said a WDC spokesman.

From April 2013 the central government refund for Council Tax Benefits, which is used to help low income households in the district, is being cut by 10 per cent -leaving WDC having to claw back £1 million on lost funds.

Cllr Nick Collinson, WDC’s cabinet member for corporate assets, said: “We are looking to take a fair and balanced view in dealing with the changes which result from the way Council Tax Benefits are being funded.

“By reducing some of the Council Tax discounts available, we hope we can encourage more effective use of the existing housing in Wealden.”

Cllr Collison said they wanted to hear the views of anyone affected either directly or indirectly by the changes.

The counsultation on housing discounts ends on Wednesday, December 5. The Council Tax Benefit consultation ends this Tuesday, November 6.

Both consultation forms are on www.wealden.gov.uk