Council Tax will be increased by 3% from 1 April 2019, following a meeting of the Highland Council last month.
Council Tax bills for 2019/2020 will be issued over the coming weeks.
Budget Leader Councillor Alister Mackinnon said: “One of the reasons we limited the Council Tax increase to 3% was to protect low income families and those experiencing in-work poverty. The Council has a strong track record in maximising incomes for Highland householders and I encourage those who may be eligible to claim Council Tax Reduction.”
Council Tax charges for 2019/2020 can be found here.
Scottish Water and Waste Water Service charges are also shown and these charges are set by Scottish Water.
Council Tax Reduction is available for those on low incomes and can reduce Council Tax by up to 100%. For a Band D property this can be as much as £1,270.83 leaving only the Scottish Water and Waste Water charges to pay. Households already in receipt of Council Tax Reduction will have their entitlement automatically recalculated and their 2019/20 Council Tax bill will be adjusted accordingly.
A leaflet providing details of this relief can be found here.
Households can check online whether they can reduce their council tax bill by completing the ‘Apply Once’ application form at www.highland.gov.uk/applyonce. Households supply their details only once and all Council-administered entitlements that are legitimately available to them will be put into payment. Alternatively, the Council’s Welfare Support Team can support individual households to complete the relevant forms in order to maximise their incomes and reduce their outgoings. The team can be contacted on 0800 090 1004. Support is also available from your local Service Point, details of which can be found at www.highland.gov.uk/directory/16/visit_an_office/category/481.
Households that would like support with managing their money can contact their local Citizens Advice Bureau which provides this advice service on behalf of The Highland Council.
The 86,000 households who are currently paying their Council Tax by Direct Debit do not need to cancel or change their existing payment amount as this will be updated automatically from 1 April 2019.
There are a number of Direct Debit payment options to choose from:
• lump sum payment on the 1st, 15th or 28th of the month;
• weekly on a Friday;
• fortnightly on a Friday;
• 10 monthly instalments on the 1st, 15th or 28th of the month from April to January (payment holiday February and March);
• 10 monthly instalments on the 1st, 15th or 28th of the month from April to June and September to March (payment holiday July and August);
• 10 monthly instalments on the 1st, 15th or 28th of the month from April to November and February to March (payment holiday December and January);
• 12 monthly instalments on the 1st, 15th or 28th of the month; or
• quarterly instalments on the 1st of the following months: April, July, October and January.
A Direct Debit mandate needs to be completed only once. Thereafter the correct amounts are collected each year. Households who wish to set up a Direct Debit for payment of their council tax can do so at www.highland.gov.uk/counciltax
Full Council Tax information including ways to pay and how to reduce the council tax bill are available online at www.highland.gov.uk/counciltax