The Council Meeting has given approval to the following in respect of the Council Tax and Business rates Discounts and Exemptions:-
(1) the Community Amateur Sports Club (CASC) Top-up scheme be continued for the year 2019/20, enabling CASCs to achieve 100% relief from Non-Domestic Rates, provided they met the qualifying criteria at Appendix 2;
(2) the Charity Relief remain limited to the 80% Mandatory Relief for the year 2019/20;
(3) the Rural Rate Relief continue to be limited to 50% Mandatory Relief for the year 2019/20 and should any village shops be established in the future then additional discretionary relief should be awarded up to 100%;
(4) Stockport’s scheme for Discretionary Business Rate Relief post revaluation be maintained for year three and calculated as 15% of the increase in rates payable;
(5) the 50% discount and qualifying criteria for Not for Profit organisations be maintained for the year 2019/20;
(6) the local scheme for large businesses which were new to the Borough or those undergoing significant expansion in the Borough be continued for 2019/20;
(7) the continuation of a case by case approach for Business Rates discounts where exceptional circumstances exist be continued for 2019/20 (it was unlikely that Exceptional Circumstances Relief would be awarded to an organisation which was in receipt of support from the Council, either grant funded or commissioned);
(8) the local Council Tax Discount scheme be amended to reduce discounts to nil for properties that were empty & unfurnished (Class C) and those that were undergoing or having undergone, major repair work or structural alteration (Class D);
(9) the premium charge added to Council Tax liability where a property has been unoccupied and unfurnished for more than two years is increased from 50% to 100% from 2019/20;
(10) any Council Tax liability for care leavers up to the age of 25 be reduced to zero for 2019/20;
(11) Stockport’s Council Tax Support scheme is maintained for 2019/20 as detailed at Appendix 7;
(12) DWP Universal Credit data sharing documents be treated as a claim for Council Tax Support;
(13) new Council Tax Support claims following a break in entitlement to Universal Credit or Council Tax Support of up to six months were treated as being made on the date on which entitlement to Universal Credit resumed (or falls to a level at which CTS was payable) or six months before the day on which the claim was received, whichever was the later.
(14) the Council Tax discretionary fund be refreshed to £100k for 2019/20, supporting customers facing financial difficulty, with no alternative means, with a further £100k being added to the fund per annum bringing the total to £200k; and
(15) the setting of the Council’s 2019/20 Council Tax Taxbase at 95,100.8 Band D equivalent dwellings be noted.
The Cabinet considered the outcome of consultation on proposed changes to the Council Tax and Business Rates Discounts following the annual review and agreed to endorse the proposed changes and recommend to the Council Meeting that it approve the Council Tax and Business Rates Discounts Schemes as set out in the report.