The Council has powers under the Local Government Finance Act 1992 to reduce Council Tax by way of a discount for both Care leavers and Foster carers if it so wishes.
Exempt care leavers from Council Tax until they are 25
In order to help with the transition to adult life the Council is looking to help Care leavers with any liability for Council Tax.
A report by the Children Society entitled ‘The Wolf at the Door’ found that when care leavers move into independent accommodation, managing their own budget for the first time can be challenging. It made a number of recommendations, including the exemption from Council Tax for care leavers.
A number of Council’s have now or are implementing discount schemes for this purpose. These schemes vary from a simple award up to 100% for all care leavers liable to Council Tax to quite complex schemes offering different level of awards depending on age and circumstance.
Bath and North East Somerset Council is now considering granting of a 100% Council Tax exemption to all Care Leavers between the ages of 18 – 25 who would normally be eligible to pay Council Tax in Bath and North East Somerset.
It should be noted that we already operate a Council Tax Support Scheme to help people pay Council Tax when they are on a low income and we do consider allowing Hardship payments to those people who are identified as needing additional support (usually of a temporary nature), So care leavers scheme reductions would be awarded after the allocation of any other reductions.
Provide a discount on Council Tax for B&NES-supported foster carers
Bath and North East Somerset Council is also considering granting a 25% Council Tax discount to Foster Carers currently supported by the Council (ie. caring for B&NES children).
The discount would also be an offer for those registering to foster for the Council, regardless of where they live, but excluding those fostering B&NES children through an Independent Fostering Agency, or those living here but fostering for another Local Authority.