Views sought on new council tax proposal

RESIDENTS across areas including Swinton, Wath and Rawmarsh are being asked for their views on a new council tax scheme being proposed in Rotherham.

The council proposal comes in wake of the shake-up of the Government’s funding system, which will leave the authority with a £4.1 million pound shortfall.

A public consultation has been launched and residents have until November 19 to comment on the proposal.

Deputy Council Leader Jahangir Akhtar said: “The changes could affect a great many people, Council Tax payers and working age claimants, as well as the council itself. We need to hear everyone’s views on our proposals.”

From April next year the Government will abolish the current national Council Tax Benefit scheme and replace them with local ones set up by local councils.

Rotherham Council will receive an annual grant for the scheme, which will be ten per cent less than they currently get in the national set up.

The changes proposed in the Rotherham Council Tax Support scheme include:

*Introducing a maximum level of Council Tax support for working age claimants meaning all will pay a portion of their Council Tax

*Removing the 50 per cent discount for second homes

*Replacing the 100 per cent exemption for vacant and unfurnished properties in the first six months with a 25 per cent discount

*Charging an additional 50 per cent premium for vacant and unfurnished properties over two years.

Further details are available at www.rotherham.gov.uk/consultations