Council tax bills will go up by an average of almost £100

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Council tax bills will go up by an average of almost £100

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People will see an extra £99.73 on their Council Tax bill for a Band D property as South Hams District Council confirms a five per cent increase. 

South Hams residents will receive their Council Tax bills for 2021/22 this week, and after a year of many people losing jobs, being forced to rely on just 80 per cent of their wages and companies going bust, they will now need to find an extra £99.73 for their Council Tax.

When Council Tax bills land on doorsteps across the South Hams this week, householders will discover that the cost has gone up to an average £2,090.55 a year for a Band D household  – an increase of 5.01 per cent. 

Although the District Council sends out the Council Tax bill, the vast majority of the Council Tax income collected is passed onto Devon County Council, the Fire Authority, the Police and Crime Commissioner and local Town and Parish Councils, to pay for the local services that they all provide.

A breakdown of where you Council Tax goes - credit South Hams District Council 

The largest part of the Council Tax bill that residents pay will go to Devon County Council to pay for the vital services that they provide including elderly care (social care costs), education and schools, children’s services, roads (including potholes) and transport. Devon County Council have increased their share of the Council Tax bill by 4.99 per cent, with 1.99 per cent being for general services and 3 per cent dedicated solely to adult social care costs.

Earlier in February, South Hams District Council agreed to increase its share of the Council Tax bill by £5 to £175.42 for a Band D household – an increase of 2.93 per cent. Therefore of an average Band D Council Tax bill of £2,090.55, only 8 per cent goes to South Hams District Council to provide local services such as refuse collection and recycling, planning, environmental health, benefits and housing.

The Devon and Cornwall Police and Crime Commissioner has increased its share of the Council Tax bill by 6.73 per cent from £221.64 to £236.56 for a Band D property – an increase of £14.92 for the year.

In addition, the Devon and Somerset Fire & Rescue service has increased its share of the Council Tax bill by 1.99 per cent from £88.24 to £90 for a Band D property – an increase of £1.76 for the year.

On average, the amount of the Council Tax bill which has been set by town and parish councils will increase by £6.23 per year. The actual amount will differ from parish to parish. Each individual town or parish council sets their own element of the council tax bill. 

Cllr Judy Pearce, Leader of South Hams District Council, said: “We know that any increase is going to hit people hard this year, but it is critical that our frontline services continue and that residents and businesses get the help and support they need and deserve.

"Many people think that all their Council Tax goes to the district council to cover the services we provide. In reality, our charge is only 8 per cent of the overall bill (£175.42 a year). That pays for essential services like waste and recycling collections. The rest of your Council Tax bill is split between the other statutory bodies to cover everything from caring for our elderly and children’s services, to must-have policing and fire and rescue services and local parish and town needs.

“We ask residents, if you can, please continue to make your Council Tax payments in the usual way as this is paying for vital services. However, if you are struggling, please be aware that we may be able to help. There are measures, such as the Hardship Fund for the Council Tax Reduction Scheme, to support financially vulnerable people and households.

“Our officers can support residents with completing a welfare benefit check to ensure they receive all they are entitled to. Please contact us via the website or through our Customer Support Team on 01803 861234.” 

A spokesperson for South Hams District Council said: SHDC fully recognises the economic problems that many households will be experiencing as a result of the Coronavirus emergency, and they understand that some residents will find it difficult to meet Council Tax payments.

"That is why we are committed to doing everything we can to support residents at this very difficult time. We are urging residents to find out what support is on offer if they are having difficulties with payments."

If you are worried about paying for your Council Tax, you can find out more information here:

www.southhams.gov.uk/article/5438/Worried-about-Paying

Find out about reductions (discounts and exemptions) here: www.southhams.gov.uk/counciltaxdiscount

On a low income? Find out more here:

www.southhams.gov.uk/article/6643/Low-Income-Council-Tax-Reduction

The Government has also just published further details on the support scheme for the self-employed for those that have lost income due to Coronavirus.  HMRC will contact those that are eligible for the scheme and invite them to apply online.

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