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Council Tax Information

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The Council Tax bill sent to you by Bedford Borough Council is made up of charges from three organisations:

• Bedford Borough Council

• Bedfordshire Police and Crime Commissioner

• Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue Authority

If you live in an area with a parish council the Council Tax charged by the parish council is also included in your bill. Your bill shows how much you pay to each organisation.

Council Tax provides part of the money needed by each of these organisations to provide services to local communities, such as schools, policing, helping elderly or vulnerable people, taking care of parks and open spaces, getting rid of rubbish and keeping streets clean.  More information about Council Tax, spending and services.

Council Tax is charged for all residential properties (except a small number that are exempt from the charge).  The amount that a household pays depends on the valaution band for the property and whether the household is entitled to any discounts.

 

Council Tax Increase Referendum 7 May 2015

There will be a Council Tax increase referendum on 7 May 2015 the same day as the general and local elections.  The referndum is to decide whether the part of of the Council Tax for Bedforshire Police should be increased by 15.8%.  More information.

 

Council Tax Valuation Bands

The Valuation Office Agency is responsible for setting the Council Tax valaution band for each property.  The Band is based on the market value of the property at 1 April 1991.  For more information about Council Tax bands or to find out the band for a property visit the Valuation Office Agency website.

 

Discounts and Other Reductions

Single Person Discounts

If you are the only adult living in a property you will be entitled to a 25% single person discount.  Download an application form.

 

Council Tax Support Discounts for Low Income Households

Council Tax Support Discounts are available for many households with a low income.  The amount of the discount will depend on the people living in the household and their income and savings.  There is a national discount scheme for people of pension age and a local scheme for people of working age.

 

Other Discounts

Certain people are not counted when working out how many adults live at a property for Council Tax purposes.  These include full-time students, people with severe mental impairment, certain carers etc.

 

Reduction for People with a Disability

You may be entitled to a discount if you or any person that lives in your home has a serious disability.  To qualify the home must have either;

  • an extra bathroom or kitchen,
  • an extra room (other than a bathroom. kitchen or toilet)
  • enough space for the use of a wheelchair indoors

The room or wheelchair must also be essential, or of major importance, to the disabled person because of their disability.

The Council Tax charged is the amount that would be charged for a property in the Council Tax band below the actual band.  For a Band A property the bill it reduced by 1/9th.

 

Exempt Properties

There is no Council Tax charge for some properies because the law says they are exempt.  The main types of properties are those that;

  • Occupied only by full-time students
  • Occupied only by people with severe mental impairment
  • Unoccupied properties owned by a charity (e.g. a charitable housing association)
  • Unoccupied properties where the last occupier has died
  • Unoccupied properties where the occupier has moved away to receive care

 

More information and full list of exemptions.

 

Empty/Unoccupied Properties

The Council charges the full Council Tax for properties that are unoccupied (this includes empty properties and properties that furnished but are not anyone's main home). 

An extra 50% is also charged for a property that has been unoccupied and substantially unfurnished for two years or more. 

The Council regularly reviews unoccupied properties.  If you have received a letter about your empty property please click here to update the property record for your address.

 

Second Homes

The full Council Tax is charged for a second home (that is any property that is furnished but is not anyone's main home).  Where a person is required to have a two homes as a condition of their job they may be entitled to 50% discount. To download an application form please click here

 

Council Tax and Data Protection