Essex: Braintree district to review council tax for single occupants
A review of homes with single occupants is set to take place across the Braintree district.
All residents receiving a single person discount on their council tax will be written to and asked for confirmation they are the sole occupant aged over-18.
Single adult occupants receive a 25% reduction to the tax.
Those who do not reply to the form, sent by Braintree District Council (BDC), face a fine of £70 as do those who mislead the council.
There are currently 19,900 people within the district claiming the discount, and each has a duty to inform the authority if there are changes to their circumstances.
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David Bebb, councillor for performance and efficiency at BDC, said: “The discount available to single occupants is important and is there specifically to aid those who need it.
“It does however cost tax payers more than £6milllion a year, and with almost 20,000 claimants in the district we are unfortunately seeing cases where the system is being abused.
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“The council has a duty to protect the public funds it administers and as such the review will ask every single resident to confirm their details are still correct. Whilst we have undertaken reviews in the past, removing the discount from accounts of those who mislead us or fail to respond, we will for the first time be using the power to fine those recipients £70.”
The review will begin next month.
For more information or to contact the council about the discount call 01376 552525 or email email@example.com.