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Council tax and care leavers consultation


We want your views on a proposal to offer care leavers an exemption from council tax until the age of 25.

Background

We understand that young people leaving care rarely have the support that families can offer to help them become independent.

Both the Government and the Children's Society agree that care leavers need additional support and that local authorities have a role to play.

While we do not currently exempt care leavers from paying council tax, some support is available through other schemes and exemptions such as:

  • Care leavers in receipt of some state benefits or a low wage may qualify for Council Tax Reduction of up to 100%.
  • Council tax legislation does offer some discounts and exemptions, for example, the student discount exempts property occupied only by students.

What are we proposing?

We want to help care leavers become financially independent. We are proposing the following changes for care leavers, up to the age of 25, living in County Durham, after consideration of entitlement to other discounts/exemptions:

  • Exempt all care leavers from council tax.
  • Award 50% discretionary relief to care leavers living with a partner who is not a care leaver.
  • Award 50% discretionary relief to care leavers when part of a joint tenancy.
  • Award 50% discretionary relief, where a care leaver moves in to live with an extended family member (or another adult) living on their own and receiving single person discount.

The above would apply only to an occupied property.

Where this won't apply

  • Where a care leaver (up to the age of 25) moves in with two or more adults already living in a property and their charge is not reduced by an existing statutory exemption or discount.
  • Where it is a house of multiple occupation (HMO) and the landlord is responsible for council tax. 

It is proposed that these reductions would be back dated to April 2017, the start of the financial year.

What happens next?

We also directly consulted with organisations that may be affected by this change. The closing date for responses was 31 May 2017.

The report was discussed at our Cabinet - Cabinet agenda and minutes - 12 July 2017

Contact us
  • Community engagement
  • 03000 263 600
  • Our address is:
    • County Hall
    • Durham
    • County Durham
    • United Kingdom
    • DH1 5UF
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