Updating secondary Legislation Council Tax Information Letter We are aware that there are a number of financial limits in council tax secondary legislation that have not been 1/2006 updated for a number of years. The attached table sets out provisions that we believe are possible candidates for review. If there are others that you think we have missed, The topics covered in this letter please let us know. We will not be looking at possible are: changes to primary legislation, with the exception of penalties for failure to supply information in paragraphs 1 • Updating Secondary Legislation and 2 of the Local Government Finance Act 1992, which • The Non - Domestic Rating and could be amended by an Order from HM Treasury. Nor Council Tax (Electronic Communications) (England) are we at this stage looking for views on whether limits Order 2006 should actually be updated or by how much. We will • Commission for Rural consult formally once we have done some more work on Communities Report on the this, subject to Ministerial approval. Reduced Second Homes Discount Revenue. Principal SI Amending SI Reference Provision • Class G Exemption and Planning 1992/548 1998/291 Schedule £160 per week maximum gross Restrictions Consultation 1(1)(c)(ii) earnings to qualify for discount disregard as an apprentice. • Magistrates' Court Fees • Questionnaire Analysis- Where 1992/552 1998/294 Schedule 1(1)(c) £36 per week maximum gross Should We Be Focusing? earnings for discount disregard • Updating Stakeholder information as a carer under Part 1 of Schedule 1. • Attachment of Earnings: A 1992/613 N/A Regulation 39(1) £1 maximum deduction that handbook for Employers employer may make for administering an attachment of earnings order. 1992/613 1998/295 Schedule 4, Weekly, monthly and daily Tables A,B,C earnings limits for deductions of earnings. 1992/613 2003/2211 Schedule 5 Maximum fees that may be charged in connection with levying distress. 1992/613 1994/505 Schedule 6 Maximum fees that may be charged in connection with obtaining a warrant of commitment and an arrest warrant. 2003/2613 N/A Schedule 3, Part £100,000 maximum expenditure 3, 4(c) of a parish council before breakdown of expenditure by service and budget requirement must be set out in information accompanying demand notice The Non - Domestic Rating and Council Tax (Electronic Communications) (England) Order 2006 This Order (SI 2006/237) came into force on 1st March. It makes a minor amendment to the Council Tax (Administration and Enforcement) Regulations 1992, by updating the definition of 'electronic communication' to reflect that in the Electronic Communications Act 2000. It makes no change to how or to whom billing authorities may serve demand notices electronically. You can find the Order on the Office of Public Sector Information web-site at: http:/www.opsi.gov.uk/si/si2006/20060237.htm The Commission for Rural Communities (CRC) Report on the Reduced Second Homes Discount Revenue The CRC with DeMontfort University has undertaken an evaluation of the use of the additional revenue that rural authorities raised from reducing the discount on second homes in 2004/05. Their findings will be launched on the 8th March 2006. Copies of both the CRC evaluation report and DeMontfort University background research will be available for downloading from the CRC website from that day. Throughout March, a series of free 'show and tell' events will be arranged across the country to share examples of good practice identified during the evaluation, focusing on the different approaches counties and local authorities have taken to distribute the resources, types of uses the money has been put to and successes and problems encountered. To reserve a place on these events please visit the CRC website, which can be found at the following link: www.ruralcommunities.gov.uk/article.asp?Aid+86&plD=1 Class G Exemption and Planning Restrictions Preventing Occupancy LGF CTBR - B As we mentioned in CTIL 6/2005, on Wednesday 21 Zone 5/D1 December 2005, we published a consultation paper which Eland House seeks views on a proposed amendment to Class G of the Bressenden Place LONDON SW1E 5DU Council Tax (Exempt Dwellings) Order 1992. The Council.email@example.com amendment would clarify that an unoccupied dwelling in England is exempt from council tax where a planning Web site: www.odpm.gov.uk condition prevents occupancy. This is a reminder that the consultation period closes on 17 March. March 2006 The consultation paper can be found on the ODPM website at the following link: www.odpm.gov.uk/lg/consult Please send paper responses to David McDonald at the address on page 3 of the consultation document or e-mail responses to: firstname.lastname@example.org. Magistrates' Court Fees Following the increases in January, the Department for Constitutional Affairs anticipates that there will be no further increases in fees in relation to council tax until April 2007. An amendment to 5.2 of the fees schedule in the Magistrates' Courts Fees Order (SI 2005/3444), due to come into force on 6 April will clarify that the fee at 5.2 relates to a summons for commitment. Questionnaire Analysis - Where Should We Be Focusing? We have been greatly encouraged by the number of returns we received (157 in total) and your helpful and constructive comments. The strongest issue that came through was that you see a need for more clarity about and fewer barriers to information sharing to support effective service delivery both within local authorities and with other agencies. Two other concerns were very widely shared. Firstly that the current rules on powers to make deductions from income following the grant of a liability order by the courts means that more costly and less effective enforcement action has to be taken. Secondly that backdating council tax adjustments to potentially as far back as 1993 leads to a significant administrative burden. Your feedback will help us direct our work and the issues we put to Ministers for consideration. Updating our list of stakeholders We are currently updating our list of stakeholders to ensure that we are getting our information to the right people. If you wish to continue to receive our Council Tax Information Letters could you please confirm by return of e mail that you are the right point of contact and provide your telephone number if possible. If you are on our e mailing list but no longer wish to receive information could you please also confirm this by return of e mail. If you know of anyone else who is interested or wishes to receive our information could you pass this letter on or forward their details. If you have recently provided us with this information then you do not need to re submit your details. Thank you for your assistance with this. Attachment of Earnings: A Handbook for Employers The Department for Constitutional Affairs are currently updating this handbook with a view to an Autumn publication. We're providing input to the chapters on council tax and would like to know if any of you are still collecting monies through community charge attachment of earnings orders (CCAEO). If these have all now ceased or are very exceptional, then we will remove reference to them in the main body of the text in the interests of brevity and simply refer the employer to the billing authority if they have queries on a CCAEO. If anyone would like to be involved in the redrafting of these chapters please let us know.