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Council Tax notice 2017/18

We have budgeted to spend £548.935m on the provision of services to our taxpayers in 2017/18 (compared to a figure of £537.924m in 2016/17). A further sum of £9.487m will be paid to other public bodies in the form of levies and contributions. Net expenditure is set at £341.958m. For the Council Taxpayer, the Band D tax levied by the County Council will be £1,145.61 for 2017/18, which represents an increase in Council Tax of 2.5%.

  2016/17 2017/18 2017/18
SERVICES: GROSS 
EXPENDITURE (£m)
GROSS 
EXPENDITURE (£m)
NET 
EXPENDITURE (£m)
Central Services 35.866 37.475 30.455
Cultural, Environmental and Planning Services 59.050 61.631 41.805
Education & Children's Services 206.999 207.967 172.016
Highways, Roads and Transport Services 29.317 31.813 18.873
Housing Services 99.100 100.886 2.714
Adult Social Services 107.592 109.163 76.095
Expenditure on Services 537.924 548.935 341.958
       
LEVIES AND CONTRIBUTIONS:      
Brecon Beacons National Park 0.138 0.138 0.138
Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Authority 9.172 9.349 9.349
Net Trading Account Surpluses (-) / Deficits -1.241 -0.644 -0.644
Net Interest and Capital Accounting Adjustments -9.519 -10.067 -10.067
Pensions Reserve Adjustment -5.085 -5.085 -5.085
Contribution to/from (-) Reserves -0.510 -1.448 -1.448
County Council Expenditure 530.879 541.178 334.201
       
TO BE FINANCED FROM:      
Government Revenue Support Grant -195.966 -191.882  
National Non Domestic Rates (NNDR) -55.720 -60.295  
Specific Grants/Reimbursements -91.490 -93.582  
Fees, Charges and Other Income -108.428 -113.395  
Council Taxpayers -79.275 -82.024  
  -530.879 -541.178  

We intend to spend £90.9m in 2017/18 on capital projects (£76.6m in 2016/17), which will be financed from the following sources:

 Sources £m
Loans Raised 27.2
Proceeds from Sale of Assets 6.0
Grant Aid 34.8
Other Sources 22.9
Total 90.9

General reserves (or balances) are necessary to provide for levelling out of normal peaks and troughs of a year’s financial activities. It is estimated that such balances will stand at around £7.4m on 31st March 2018 (£7.4m on 31st March 2017). We have also set aside other reserves to meet specific expenditure and these are estimated to amount to £26.7m on 31st March 2018 (£55.3m on 31st March 2017).

COMMUNITY PRECEPT 2016/17 PRECEPT 2017/18 BAND D COUNCIL TAX 17/18 COMMUNITY PRECEPT 2016/17 PRECEPT 2017/18 BAND D COUNCIL TAX 17/18
  £       £            £         £        £        £    
Abergwili 26,286.00 26,800.00 36.96 Llangadog 20,000.00 20,000.00 32.75
Abernant 3,000.00 2,500.00 19.66 Llangain 9,070.00 9,420.00 33.44
Ammanford 86,520.00 125,674.00 65.81 Llangathen 7,000.00 7,200.00 27.44
Betws 21,000.00 22,000.00 25.12 Llangeler 30,683.47 30,990.29 21.07
Bronwydd 8,937.85 8,881.19 32.38 Llangennech 183,885.00 195,696.00 102.26
Carmarthen Town 662,000.00 674,286.00 126.50 Llangunnor 36,000.00 30,000.00 26.26
Cenarth 9,000.00 9,000.00 16.93 Llangyndeyrn 47,965.00 49,403.00 35.92
Cilycwm 5,000.00 5,000.00 22.77 Llangynin 3,171.00 3,295.00 25.11
Cilymaenllwyd 6,000.00 6,000.00 18.27 Llangynog 7,446.00 7,446.00 32.84
Cwmaman 216,000.00 220,212.00 143.43 Llanllawddog 6,835.00 6,929.00 21.43
Cynwyl Elfed 11,584.00 11,782.16 26.00 Llanllwni 11,000.00 12,100.00 38.17
Cynwyl Gaeo 5,500.00 6,000.00 14.05 Llannon 282,830.00 282,830.00 149.91
Dyffryn Cennen 14,000.00 5,000.00 9.65 Llanpumsaint 7,018.44 7,074.32 22.00
Eglwyscummin 6,000.00 6,000.00 32.65 Llansadwrn 6,000.00 6,000.00 27.00
Gorslas 70,099.00 76,170.07 40.65 Llansawel 4,500.00 3,750.00 19.25
Henllanfallteg 5,500.00 3,000.00 13.92 Llansteffan & Llanybri 20,000.00 21,000.00 37.53
Kidwelly 120,635.00 124,857.00 91.80 Llanwinio 4,000.00 6,000.00 30.42
Laugharne 28,652.68 28,998.51 52.43 Llanwrda 10,500.00 8,000.00 34.85
Llanarthne 15,226.04 18,000.00 46.85 Llanybydder 33,000.00 26,000.00 44.47
Llanboidy 16,354.87 15,424.00 36.32 Llanycrwys 950.00 1,150.00 11.37
Llanddarog 16,707.00 17,047.00 31.23 Manordeilo & Salem 10,500.00 14,000.00 18.08
Llanddeusant 2,000.00 2,200.00 17.84 Meidrim 10,000.00 10,000.00 38.42
Llanddowror & Llanmiloe 14,500.00 15,500.00 46.10 Myddfai 2,350.00 2,900.00 16.24
Llandeilo 56,302.00 59,117.00 76.06 Newcastle Emlyn 25,653.35 26,679.48 59.67
Llandovery 50,500.00 53,025.00 68.71 Newchurch & Merthyr 6,500.00 6,500.00 21.19
Llandybie 180,000.00 180,000.00 42.65 Pembrey & Burry Port 313,120.00 329,435.00 103.63
Llandyfaelog 20,000.00 20,245.00 33.58 Pencarreg 12,000.00 12,500.00 23.82
Llanedi 205,000.00 205,000.00 94.66 Pendine 8,015.50 7,410.02 47.00
Llanegwad 10,000.00 10,000.00 14.37 Pontyberem 103,457.00 106,856.69 108.24
Llanelli Rural 1,003,230.00 1,011,000.00 125.89 Quarter Bach 64,173.60 74,173.60 79.53
Llanelli Town 800,000.00 800,000.00 92.52 St Clears 77,545.00 79,176.00 60.65
Llanfair-ar-y-Bryn 4,500.00 4,500.00 16.66 St Ishmaels 32,000.00 32,500.00 43.33
Llanfihangel Aberbythych 17,500.00 17,500.00 30.85 Talley 5,000.00 8,000.00 32.79
Llanfihangel-ar- Arth 53,000.00 45,000.00 50.73 Trelech a'r Betws 0.00 0.00 0.00
Llanfihangel Rhos-y-Corn 7,500.00 7,500.00 34.81 Trimsaran 55,650.00 62,625.00 73.55
Llanfynydd 6,000.00 6,000.00 27.00 Whitland 41,185.85 41,185.85 59.21

The National Assembly for Wales sets a Standard Spending Assessment for us. This is the amount which the National Assembly for Wales assesses is required to provide, in relative terms, a standard level of service in the area. The assessment for 2017/18 and a comparison with our budget requirement is set out below:

Assessment/Budget Requirement Standard Spending
Assessment (£m)
Band D
Council Tax (£)
Standard Spending Assessment 335.323 1,161
Budget Requirement (incl. Community Precepts) 339.474 1,221

 

Valuation Band A B C D E F G H I
Tax Proportion       6/9     7/9     8/9       9/9      11/9      13/9      15/9      18/9      21/9
  £     £      £      £       £      £       £      £       £      
County Council 763.74 891.03 1,018.32 1,145.61 1,400.19 1,654.77 1,909.35 2,291.22 2,673.09
Dyfed Powys Police 142.58 166.34 190.11 213.87 261.40 308.92 356.45 427.74 499.03
Community Councils
(average)
50.25 58.63 67.00 75.38 92.13 108.88 125.63 150.76 175.89

Every dwelling is now placed in one of the following 9 Valuation Bands:

Band Property Value
A Up to £44,000
B £44,001 to £65,000
C £65,001 to £91,000
D £91,001 to £123,000
E £123,001 to £162,000
F £162,001 to £223,000
G £223,001 to £324,000
H £324,001 to £424,000
I £424,001 and above

Properties are placed in the Band which represents their open market value as at April 2003. New properties built after April 2003 will be valued as if at that date. Your Council Tax bill shows the Band in which your property has been placed.

The Valuation Office Agency - an arm of the Inland Revenue - is responsible for Council Tax valuations. If you believe that the valuation of your property is incorrect you may appeal to the Valuation Office at:

Tŷ Glyder        
339 High Street             
Bangor
LL57 1EP
ctwales@voa.gsi.gov.uk

 

Telephone helpline: 03000 505505

 

You may also appeal if you believe there has been a material reduction in the value of your property, for example, due to demolition of part of the building, a change to the physical state of the local area, or adaptations to make the dwelling suitable for someone physically disabled.

There are rules and time-limits in relation to appeals. It is therefore advisable to contact the Valuation Office helpline for advice and guidance.

 

Appeals against liability to pay

You may also appeal if you consider that you are not liable to pay Council Tax, for example, because you are not the resident or owner, or because your property is exempt; or that we have made a mistake in calculating your bill.

If you wish to appeal on these grounds you must first notify our Council Tax section in writing so that they have the opportunity to reconsider the case. If you are not happy with our response you may appeal further to a Valuation Tribunal. Making an appeal does not allow you to withhold payment of tax in the meantime, but if your appeal is successful you will be entitled to a refund of any overpaid tax.

Further details of the appeal procedures (including the role of valuation tribunals) may be obtained from our Council Tax section.

These are brief notes for guidance only and further conditions may apply before a reduction may be awarded.

For further information or advice on Council Tax contact 01554 742200 or e-mail counciltax@carmarthenshire.gov.uk

Please apply promptly for discounts to avoid any possible loss.

If only one adult lives at a property there will be a 25% discount (but please see the notes below relating to Empty properties and Second homes). The following people are not counted when looking at the number of residents provided certain conditions are met:

  • Students regarded as full-time,student nurses and foreign language assistants.
  • Students under 20 years of age undertaking a qualifying part-time course.
  • A student’s spouse, civil partner or dependant who is not a British citizen and is prevented from taking paid employment or claiming State Benefits.
  • Persons who attract Child Benefit
  • 18 &19 year olds who are at, or have just left school.
  • Youth Training trainees and apprentices.
  • People who are severely mentally impaired.
  • Permanent residents of nursing homes or NHS hospitals.
  • Carers but not if caring for a spouse, partner or child under 18 (if carer is parent).
  • Certain charity / Local Authority care workers.
  • Members of a religious community e.g. monks or nuns.
  • Hostel residents.
  • Members of Visiting Forces or International Headquarters and Defence Organisations.
  • Convicted and remand prisoners.

In addition to the statutory discounts mentioned above, Councils have the power to grant Discounts on a discretionary basis and according to local circumstances.

Most empty properties will be exempt from Council Tax for the first six months, after which a 50% charge will apply. There are some exceptions to this rule (as shown below) and in certain circumstances there will be no charge at all. (see Exempt Dwellings below)

If however, a property is furnished and is unoccupied, or is furnished and is not the main residence of anyone, there will generally be no exempt period, (but see Exempt Dwellings below) nor will there be any discount allowed. The owner will therefore be liable to pay the full Council Tax.However a 50% discount may be awarded in respect of a caravan or when the liable person for Council Tax, is also liable for another dwelling, where he/she has to reside as a condition of employment or when a member of the Armed Forces has to live in self-contained accommodation (e.g. house/flat) provided by the Ministry of Defence.

A property which is not the main residence of anyone and is only let for short periods (mainly holiday lets) may be subject to Non Domestic Rates and not Council Tax. Officers at “The Valuation Office” are responsible for deciding whether a property should be placed on the Council Tax Valuation List or the Non Domestic List. There is likely to be a considerable financial benefit to customers whose properties are removed from the Council Tax List and placed on the Non Domestic List.

For a property to be listed for Non Domestic Rates it must, usually, meet the following conditions:

  1. it must have been available for commercial letting, as self-catering accommodation, for short periods totalling 140 days, or more, in the previous 12 months  
  2. the periods for which it was let amounted, in total, to at least  70 days and
  3. the intention is that, for the next 12 months, the building will be available for commercial letting, as self-catering accommodation, for short periods totalling 140 days, or more

Further conditions may apply but the legislation can be less stringent where a number of properties are let, at the same location or within close proximity to each other.

If you want further details or believe that your property should be removed from the Council Tax Valuation List and entered on the Non Domestic Valuation List, then you should contact officers at the Valuation Office (please see “Valuation Appeals” for contact details).

(Please apply promptly to avoid a possible loss of exemption)

Most dwellings will be subject to the Council Tax, but some will be exempt and there will be no Council Tax to pay on them. The following Exemptions apply provided certain conditions are met:

  • Dwellings which have been left empty and unfurnished . The exemption is limited to a period of 6 months regardless of a change of owner or council tax payer.
  • Unoccupied and unfurnished dwellings which are undergoing structural alteration or which require major renovation to make them habitable, and dwellings where such works have recently been completed. The exemption is limited to a period of 12 months regardless of a change of owner or council tax payer.
  • Dwellings left empty by patients in hospital/ care homes (long term absence only).
  • Dwellings left empty by persons receiving care, and dwellings left empty by persons providing care elsewhere.
  • Dwellings left empty since the owner or tenant has passed away. Further conditions/time limits may apply.
  • Dwellings left vacant by prisoners.
  • Unoccupied dwellings which have been repossessed or which are in the hands of trustees in bankruptcy.
  • Halls of residence.
  • Dwellings occupied only by students (or certain non-British spouses, civil partners or dependants-see Discounts above), school leavers or under-18’s.
  • Dwellings left empty by a Student owner.
  • Dwellings occupied only by a person who is severely mentally impaired
  • Empty properties which are clergy dwellings or are owned by charities (up to 6 months for latter).
  • Armed Forces or Visiting Forces accommodation.
  • When the liable person has diplomatic immunity.
  • Dwellings that are prevented by law from being occupied.
  • Annexes occupied by an elderly or disabled relative of the residents living in the main dwelling.
  • Empty annexes which cannot be let separately from the main home.
  • A pitch or mooring not occupied by a caravan or boat.

If your home has one or more of the following features that are needed to meet the specific needs of a disabled person who lives at your property, child or adult, then you may be able to get a reduction in your bill.

  • a room, other than a bathroom, kitchen or lavatory, which is used predominantly by the disabled person (Please note that the reduction will not apply if the room used by the disabled person would be required, by the household, for use as a bedroom or living room, even if he/she was not disabled) or,
  • a second kitchen or bathroom used for meeting the needs of the disabled person, or
  • widened doorways or access to cater for the use of a wheel chair indoors.

If, after an inspection of the property, you qualify for a reduction, you will be charged Council Tax at the level of charge one band below that in which your property has been assessed. For example, if your property is in Band ‘D’, you will be charged as if it were in Band ‘C’.

NOTE – As from 1 April 2000, this type of reduction has also been available to persons living in properties valued in Band ‘A’. You will need an application form from the Council Tax Section.

The Council Tax Reduction Scheme is designed to help people on low income. For example, if you are on Income Support you will normally pay no Council Tax. You may also qualify if working but on low pay. Entitlement will usually depend upon:

• Income

• Savings/ capital

• Personal and family circumstances  

If you have been granted CTR the amount and period of the reduction will be shown on your bill.

Please remember that you must notify our Benefit Section of any changes in your circumstances that might affect your entitlement. Examples are given on the Change of Circumstances leaflet that is sent with your council tax reduction notification letter. You are exempt from paying Council Tax in respect of any period when you have been granted 100% CTR.

Please telephone our Benefit Section on 01554 742100 for further information.

The Council has the discretion to increase the council tax by up to 100% of the full rate, in respect of a property which has been unoccupied and substantially unfurnished, for a continuous period of at least 1 year and a property which is substantially furnished and which is not the main residence of anyone. However no premium will be applied for 2017/18.

We may share your information in order to provide other council services and occasionally with other organisations when the law allows this. This will usually be to provide contact details and/or to confirm who is resident at a property.

Examples where information may be shared with other sections within the council are show below:

  1. To help process applications for Housing Benefit and/or Council Tax Reduction.
  2. To help process applications for blue badges or concessionary bus passes.
  3. To provide contact details to Social Services staff.
  4. To provide contact details of :
    a)    landlords to Housing staff for them to verify that tenancies are registered with Rent Smart Wales and to see if landlords are willing to assist them with enquiries relating to affordable accommodation within the county.
  5. b)    owners of long term empty properties to see if help can be given to bring them back into use.   
  6. To help enforcement officers investigate fly tipping.

Examples where information may be provided to external bodies are as follows:

  1. To help police with the investigation/detection of crime.
  2. To help HMRC with the investigation of fraud.
  3. To provide details of residency or contact details to council tax officers of other councils.
  4. To help a government department investigating the illegal import of animals.      

For more information about this, you can contact us at counciltax@carmarthenshire.gov.uk

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