Policy & Resources Cabinet Member – Minutes – 31 December 2013

101  (41)  COUNCIL TAX FLOOD ALLOWANCE – The Director of Policy and Resources submitted a report which sought to determine whether a local council tax allowance should be granted to those households affected by the December 2013 floods.

The report outlined that on the 5 and 6 of December 2013 a tidal surge event caused extensive flooding along the East Coast and resulted in damage to a large number of homes within North Lincolnshire.

It was explained that the national regulations which governed the operation of the council tax billing process would not provide equal support to all those affected by the flooding.  However the Council had discretion under the Local Government Act 2000 wellbeing powers to grant additional allowances.

The cabinet member was advised that some people had continued to occupy the habitable portion of their homes whilst repairs were undertaken to the affected portion and that these householders were not entitled to any discount.

Details of the proposals were outlined within the report.

An urgent decision was necessary to ensure financial support was offered to affected residents as soon as possible.

Resolved – (a) That a 50% local council tax reduction be introduced using the powers available under the Wellbeing legislation.  The reduction to be afforded to those taxpayers who have been affected by flooding and meet the criteria shown in 2.2.4 of the report; (b) that the relief be given for a maximum period of twelve months from the date the flooding occurred, and (c) that residents be offered Council tax support in accordance with the policy and Council tax discounts be applied to properties meeting various criteria the two criteria of relevance being:

(a)  Properties in which no one lives and which are substantially unfurnished attract a 100% discount for three months.

(b)  Properties in which no one lives that are substantially unfurnished and require, or are undergoing, structural alterations or major repair work attract a 50% discount for up to twelve months.