Discretionary discount - Background

Section 13A of the Local Government Finance Act 1992 as amended, empowers a billing authority as follows: (This power was inserted in 2003/4)

  1. Where a person is liable to pay Council Tax in respect of any chargeable dwelling and any day, the billing authority for the area in which the dwelling is situated may reduce the amount which he is liable to pay as respects the dwelling and the day to such extent as it thinks fit.
  2. The power under subsection (1) above includes power to reduce an amount to nil.
  3. The power under subsection (1) may be exercised in relation to particular cases or by determining a class of case in which liability is to be reduced to an extent provided by the determination."

A person who is liable to pay Council Tax on a chargeable dwelling has the right to apply to the Council for a reduction in the amount of Council Tax due to be paid. Usually discount is available via statutory rebate schemes for payers on low incomes or discount schemes for home alone and personal exemptions. Section 11 of LGFA 1992 also allows for empty property discounts, but councils can use Section 11 to remove such discounts.

Section 13A of the Local Government Finance Act 1992 is a general discretionary power to go further with discount in specific cases.

The Council has the power to award a discount for a period of time it thinks is reasonable and it can choose to reduce the amount of Council Tax payable.

The Council has the right to choose whether to use its powers on a case-by-case basis or it also has the right to specify a class of use. A class of use is where several people who pay Council Tax fall into a group because their circumstances are similar – for example; Council Tax payers that have had to leave their homes due to flooding.



Last Updated on Wednesday, May 8, 2024