A COUNCIL could lose funding as Council Tax Support changes come into force.
Changes to the way council tax benefit is managed means Calderdale Council will see its Council Tax Base reduce this year.
It will ultimately result in a lower level of income being collected from council tax.
Clr Tim Swift, leader of Calderdale Council, says it is having to take £2million out of the funding pot to cover the expected loss.
A report shows the Council Tax Base, which is how the council calculates how much each property will be charged, has 9,740 fewer Band D properties – the average the base is calculated on.
Without the Council Tax Support Scheme there is less money coming into the funding pot.
Calderdale households who currently receive Council Tax Support will face increased bills. Those who pay nothing will face having to make a contribution.
Because of a one-off grant and the authority’s efforts, those needing support have a year to prepare.
Council Leader Clr Tim Swift said: “This is quite a technical issue because of the way the Government has handled the localisation of Council Tax Benefit.
“Until March, this is a national benefit scheme; from April we have to determine the scheme locally, but with a lot of restrictions – and with the Government giving us only 90% of the necessary funding.
“What we are doing locally is that we have found compensatory savings for the first 12 months, so that we are not cutting the amount received by anyone on Council Tax Benefit.
“This means of course that we are using about £2m to support individuals which could otherwise have funded other services.
“We are doing this because we are concerned that the cuts would otherwise affect low-paid working families in particular, who are already affected by other benefit changes – and the capping at 1% decision taken by Parliament on Tuesday.
“We will have to implement these savings in future years, but wanted to phase them in as there are so many other changes affecting working age benefits in the next few months.”
A report going to Cabinet members on Monday shows the authority plans to continue to budget an allowance of one-and-a-half percent of its council tax total for uncollected monies.
The percentage is based on current council tax collection rates and accounts for people who died or become untraceable.
The report says: “Members should note that if the council collects more than 98½% of council tax due, any collection above this figure will benefit council tax payers and residents in future years.”