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Local Government Bill


Local Government Bill
Part 6 — Council tax

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 74    Interpretation of Part 5

In this Part “the 1988 Act” means the Local Government Finance Act 1988

(c. 41).

Part 6

Council tax

5

Liability and amount of tax

 75    Exception of students from joint and several liability

     (1)    In section 6(4) of the Local Government Finance Act 1992 (c. 14) (exception of

severely mentally impaired from liability as co-resident or owner), for the

words from “paragraph” to “impaired)” there is substituted “paragraph 2

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(severely mentally impaired) or 4 (students etc.) of Schedule 1 to this Act”.

     (2)    In section 9(2) of that Act (corresponding exception from liability as spouse),

for the words from “paragraph” to the end there is substituted “paragraph 2

(the severely mentally impaired) or 4 (students etc.) of Schedule 1 to this Act”.

     (3)    This section has effect in relation to financial years beginning on or after 1 April

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2004.

 76    Second and empty homes: England

After section 11 of the Local Government Finance Act 1992 there is inserted—

       “11A            Discounts: special provision for England

           (1)           The Secretary of State may for any financial year by regulations

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prescribe one or more classes of dwelling in England for the purposes

of subsection (3) or (4) below.

           (2)           A class of dwellings may be prescribed under subsection (1) above by

reference to such factors as the Secretary of State sees fit and may, in

particular, be prescribed by reference to—

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                  (a)                 the physical characteristics of dwellings, or

                  (b)                 the fact that dwellings are unoccupied.

           (3)           For any financial year for which a class of dwellings is prescribed for

the purposes of this subsection, a billing authority in England may by

determination provide in relation to all dwellings of that class in its

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area, or in such part of its area as it may specify in the determination,

that the discount under section 11(2)(a) shall be such lesser percentage

of at least 10 as it may so specify

           (4)           For any financial year for which a class of dwellings is prescribed for

the purposes of this subsection, a billing authority in England may by

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determination provide in relation to all dwellings of that class in its

area, or in such part of its area as it may specify in the determination—

                  (a)                 that the discount under section 11(2)(a) above shall not apply, or

                  (b)                 that the discount under that provision shall be such lesser

percentage as it may so specify.

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Local Government Bill
Part 6 — Council tax

    40

 

           (5)           A billing authority may make a determination varying or revoking a

determination under subsection (3) or (4) for a financial year, but only

before the beginning of the year.

           (6)           A billing authority which makes a determination under this section

shall publish a notice of it in at least one newspaper circulating in its

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area and do so before the end of the period of 21 days beginning with

the date of the determination.

           (7)           Failure to comply with subsection (6) above shall not affect the validity

of a determination.”

 77    Billing authority’s power to reduce amount of tax payable

10

After section 13 of the Local Government Finance Act 1992 (c. 14) there is

inserted—

       “13A            Billing authority’s power to reduce amount of tax payable

           (1)           Where a person is liable to pay council tax in respect of any chargeable

dwelling and any day, the billing authority for the area in which the

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dwelling is situated may reduce the amount which he is liable to pay as

respects the dwelling and the day to such extent as it thinks fit.

           (2)           The power under subsection (1) above includes power to reduce an

amount to nil.

           (3)           The power under subsection (1) may be exercised in relation to

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particular cases or by determining a class of case in which liability is to

be reduced to an extent provided by the determination.”

Valuation lists and bands

 78    Statutory revaluation cycle

After section 22A of the Local Government Finance Act 1992 there is inserted—

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       “22B            Compilation and maintenance of new lists

           (1)           The listing officer for a billing authority shall compile, and then

maintain, new lists for the authority in accordance with this Chapter

(each such list to be called its valuation list).

           (2)           A new list must be compiled—

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                  (a)                 in relation to billing authorities in England, on 1 April 2007, and

                  (b)                 in relation to billing authorities in Wales, on 1 April 2005.

           (3)           After that, a new list must be compiled on the earlier of the tenth

anniversary of the compilation of the previous list and 1 April in such

year as may be specified—

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                  (a)                 in relation to billing authorities in England, by order made by

the Secretary of State, and

                  (b)                 in relation to billing authorities in Wales, by order made by the

National Assembly for Wales.

 

 

Local Government Bill
Part 6 — Council tax

    41

 

           (4)           A new list shall come into force on the day on which it is compiled and

shall remain in force until the next such list is compiled.

           (5)           The duty to maintain a list compiled under this section continues for so

long as is necessary for the purposes of this Part and is not affected by

the list ceasing to be in force.

5

           (6)           Before a list is compiled under this section, the listing officer must take

such steps as are reasonably practicable in the time available to ensure

that it is accurately compiled on the date on which it is to be compiled.

           (7)           Where a list is to be compiled under this section, the listing officer for a

billing authority shall send the authority a copy of the list he proposes

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to compile (on the information then before him) not later than 1st

September before the date on which it is to be compiled.

           (8)           As soon as reasonably practicable after receiving a copy list under

subsection (7) above, a billing authority shall deposit it at its principal

office and take such steps as it thinks most suitable for giving notice of

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it.

           (9)           As soon as reasonably practicable after the listing officer for a billing

authority has compiled a list under this section, he shall send a copy of

it to the authority.

           (10)          As soon as reasonably practicable after receiving a copy list under

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subsection (9) above, a billing authority shall deposit it at its principal

office.

           (11)          No order under subsection (3)(a) above may be made unless a draft of

the order has been laid before, and approved by resolution of, the

House of Commons.”

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 79    Power to change number of valuation bands

In section 5 of the Local Government Finance Act 1992 (c. 14) (valuation bands),

after subsection (4) there is inserted—

           “(4A)              The power under subsection (4)(b) above includes power to make

provision for a different number of valuation bands from those which

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are for the time being effective for the purposes of subsection (2) or (3)

above.”

 80    Transitional arrangements

After section 13A of the Local Government Finance Act 1992 there is inserted—

       “13B            Transitional arrangements

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           (1)           The Secretary of State may by regulations make provision for the

purpose of smoothing changes in council tax liability resulting from the

coming into force in relation to a billing authority in England of—

                  (a)                 an order under section 5 above, or

                  (b)                 a list under section 22B below.

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           (2)           The National Assembly for Wales may by regulations make provision

for the purpose of smoothing changes in council tax liability resulting

 

 

Local Government Bill
Part 6 — Council tax

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           (2)           from the coming into force in relation to a billing authority in Wales

of—

                  (a)                 an order under section 5 above, or

                  (b)                 a list under section 22B below.

           (3)           Regulations under this section may, in particular—

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                  (a)                 make provision about the circumstances in which changes are

to be smoothed;

                  (b)                 make provision for changes to be smoothed over such one or

more financial years as may be specified in the regulations;

                  (c)                 make provision for liability for any financial year to be

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determined in accordance with such rules as may be so

specified, which may result in liability being the same as or

different from what it would otherwise be.

           (4)           Without prejudice to section 113(1) below, regulations under this

section may make different provision for different financial years.

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           (5)           To the extent that he would not have power to do so apart from this

subsection, the Secretary of State may—

                  (a)                 include in regulations made by him under this section such

amendments of any social security instrument as he thinks

expedient in consequence of the regulations;

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                  (b)                 include in any social security instrument such provision as he

thinks expedient in consequence of regulations under this

section.

           (6)           In subsection (5) above, “social security instrument” has the meaning

given by section 13(10) above.”

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Enforcement

 81    Amendments relating to distress

     (1)    Schedule 4 to the Local Government Finance Act 1992 (c. 14) (enforcement) is

amended as follows.

     (2)    In paragraph 5(1) (power to authorise making of attachment of earnings orders

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against persons subject to liability orders), in paragraph (a) (under which

attachment of earnings may be authorised to secure payment of any

outstanding sum which is or forms part of the amount in respect of which a

liability order was made), for the words from “any outstanding sum” to the

end there is substituted “the appropriate amount”.

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     (3)    After that sub-paragraph there is inserted—

         “(1A)                               For the purposes of this paragraph the appropriate amount is the

aggregate of—

                    (a)                   any outstanding sum which is or forms part of the amount in

respect of which the liability order was made; and

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                    (b)                   where the authority concerned has sought to levy an amount

by distress and sale of the debtor’s goods under provision

included by virtue of paragraph 7 below and the person

making the distress has reported that he was unable (for

 

 

Local Government Bill
Part 6 — Council tax

    43

 

                    (b)                   whatever reason) to find any or sufficient goods of the debtor

on which to levy the amount—

                           (i)                          such sum as is referred to in sub-paragraph (2)(b) of

that paragraph, and

                           (ii)                         if the authority has applied for the issue of a warrant

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committing the debtor to prison under provision

included by virtue of paragraph 8 below, a sum (of a

prescribed amount or an amount determined in

accordance with prescribed rules) in respect of the

costs of the application.”

10

     (4)    In paragraph 7 (distress), after sub-paragraph (4) there is inserted—

        “(4A)                               The regulations may include provision with respect to the supply of

information to the debtor by—

                    (a)                   a person who makes, or attempts to make, a distress, or

                    (b)                   where it has levied any amount by distress, the authority

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concerned.”

 82    Charging orders: aggregation

In Schedule 4 to the Local Government Finance Act 1992 (c. 14) (enforcement),

after paragraph 11 there is inserted—

        “11A                                Regulations under paragraph 1(1)(a) above may provide that two or

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more liability orders against the same person shall be treated as a

single liability order for the purposes of provision included by virtue

of paragraph 11 above if an application under such provision could

be made in respect of each of them in relation to the same dwelling.”

 83    Quashing of liability orders

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In Schedule 4 to the Local Government Finance Act 1992 (enforcement), after

paragraph 12 there is inserted—

“Quashing of liability orders

        12A                Regulations under paragraph 1(1) above may provide—

                    (a)                   that, where on an application by the authority concerned a

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magistrates’ court is satisfied that a liability order should not

have been made, it shall quash the order;

                    (b)                   that, where on an application to a magistrates’ court for the

quashing of a liability order, the court is satisfied that, had

the original application been for a liability order in respect of

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a lesser sum payable, such an order could properly have been

made, it shall substitute a liability order in respect of the

aggregate of—

                           (i)                          that lesser sum, and

                           (ii)                         any sum included in the quashed order in respect of

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the costs incurred in obtaining it.”

 

 

 
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