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Local Council Tax Discounts Policy

Introduction

Norwich city council is a billing authority and has a duty to administer council tax as regulated by The Local Government Finance Act 1992 and this determines the discounts and exemptions that should be given.
The billing authority can also agree local discount schemes under section 13a of the above regulations.

Three local discounts schemes have been introduced and these are

  1. Care leaver discount
  2. Second home discount for people fleeing the fear of violence
  3. A 25% discount for a single occupant when taking in a refugee

Applications for local discounts

A written application will be required, except for cases where the authority has been able to establish all the conditions of entitlement to the discount from existing evidence held by the authority or provided to it.

Applications may be made by email to revenues@norwich.gov.uk or by post to:

Revenues
City Hall
St Peters Street
Norwich
NR2 1NH

Once an award has been made an adjustment notice or bill will be sent confirming the discount.

The recipient of any discount must advise the council within 21 days of any change in circumstances which may give rise to a change in their entitlement to any discount.

1. Care leaver policy

Young people who have been looked after by their local authority are a vulnerable group who often have to start living independently much earlier than their peers and have to assume financial responsibilities on limited incomes and without the support of a family network.

Norfolk County Council and Norwich City Council have a joint responsibility to support care leavers whilst they develop their skills and build self-confidence to live independent lives.

To help with this transition Norwich City Council provides financial assistance for this group of people who need help at a challenging time in their lives. The council will give full relief from having to pay council tax for single adults or those living with other care leavers up to the age of 25.

Who will benefit from the relief?

This discount is available to care leavers who are liable to pay council tax, or who live with one other adult and count towards occupancy of the dwelling.

A 100% discount will be awarded to a care leaver living alone or solely with other care leavers reducing the Council Tax charge to nil for the qualifying period.

A 25% discount will be awarded where a care leaver lives with just one other adult.

The discount will be awarded only after entitlements to other discounts have been applied (including Council Tax Reduction).

The qualifying period will be from 18 to 25 i.e. from the person’s 18th birthday to the day before their 25th birthday.

Definition of a care leaver

A care leaver is defined as a person aged up to 25, who has been looked after by a local authority for at least 13 weeks since the age of 14; and who was looked after by the local authority at school-leaving age or after that date.

The Act defines the categories of children entitled to leaving care support as:

Eligible children are those young people aged 16-17 who are still in care and have been ‘looked after’ for a total of 13 weeks from the age of 14 and including their 16th birthday;
Relevant children are those young people aged 16 and 17 who have already left care, and who were ‘looked after’ for at least 13 weeks from the age of 14 and have been ‘looked after’ at some time while they were 16 or 17.

Former relevant children are those young people aged 18, 19 or 20 who have been eligible and/or relevant.

This discount was introduced from 1 April 2018.

2. Second home discount for people fleeing the fear of violence

When people have to flee their home to escape domestic violence they are rehomed at an alternative address for a period of time and often find that they become liable to pay council tax on a second home.

The council tax reduction scheme cannot be paid on two homes and this means that people can be disadvantaged at a time when they are already vulnerable.

Norwich City Council has introduced a scheme which will provide a full discount for council tax on their main home where they still have a liability despite having left the property to seek refuge elsewhere.

Who will benefit from this discount?

Any person who becomes liable for council tax on a second home when they have had to leave their main home to escape the fear of violence.

This discount will be awarded irrespective of whether there is any other discount in payment on the person’s main home.

This discount was introduced from 1 April 2018.

3. A 25% discount for a single occupant when taking in a refugee

Council tax is based on at least two adults occupying a dwelling. When there is only one adult who is resident or lives with another person who is disregarded for council tax discount purposes e.g. a student, a 25% discount applies.

Norwich city council has introduced a local discount that enables a person who would normally qualify for the 25% single person discount to keep this reduction for 3 months if they take a refugee in to the property.

Who will benefit from this discount?

This discount is available to people who would normally qualify for a single occupancy discount but would lose it if they were to take in a refugee.

The recipient of the discount must advise the Council within 21 days of any change in circumstances which may give rise to a change in entitlement to discount such as a new adult moving in or the refugee vacating the dwelling.

The discount was introduced from 1 April 2019.

Published by Norwich City Council February 2019