The policy is intended to enable the council to provide relief to those in the most extreme financial hardship in respect of Council Tax costs.
The Council has the discretion to provide assistance to Council Tax payers where either the existing legislation does not provide a discount, exemption or reduction or in such circumstances where the council feels that the level of discount, exemption or reduction is insufficient given the circumstances.
When deciding on whether to grant a discretionary award, the council will consider each application on its merits. Principles of reasonableness will apply in all cases with the authority deciding each case on relevant merits.
Any decision made will be without reference to any budgetary considerations notwithstanding the fact that any awards must be balanced against the need of local taxpayers who will ultimately pay for a reduction in Council Tax income. Likewise the period of any reduced liability will be considered in conjunction with the circumstances of the Council Tax payer or dwelling.
The council can also use its discretion, to provide assistance to council taxpayers in determining specific classes of property or persons.
For the purposes of administration, the council proposes that the discretionary power to grant any reduction in liability for Council Tax shall be considered within the following categories:
- eligible person(s) - care leavers
- eligible dwelling(s) - unoccupied long-term dwellings that are undergoing structural work to render them habitable
- exceptional financial hardship
- crisis -flood, fire and so on
- other circumstances
The council has adopted a policy framework to consider such applications and the policy framework can be downloaded which explains how a request can be made, the eligibility criteria along with your appeal rights if you are unhappy with the council’s decision.