Something half sensible came out of last week’s Overview & Scrutiny Committee, who meet on the 9 Nov.
The Chairwoman of the committee, Cllr Michelle Keutinius (Lab) suggested that in the process of setting the Council’s budget for 2022/23; which is well under way, the council should consider educating you the residents about Council Tax, given we’ve had the highest council tax of all authorities in Kent, since 2004/05.
She suggested an educashanal approach – What is Council Tax? What is it spent on? How is it used?
Cllr Keutinius’s idea is welcome, as educashan is very important.
Last year 2020/21 we paid Kent County Council, via our Council Tax paid to our Council the sum of £750 million. Of course money also goes to Kent Police and Crime Commissioner, Kent and Medway Fire and Rescue Authority, Town and Parish Councils and for some money goes to the Folkestone Parks and Pleasure Grounds Charity.
In 2020/21 Folkestone & Hythe District Council kept just £0.14 in every pound collected from your Council Tax
So what is Council Tax?
Council Tax is an annual fee your local council charges you for the services it provides, like rubbish collection and libraries. Normally you pay it in 10 monthly installments, followed by two months of not making any payments.
What does Council Tax pay for?
police and fire services
leisure and recreation projects, such as maintaining parks and sports centres
libraries and education services
rubbish and waste collection and disposal
transport and highway services, including street lighting and cleaning, and road maintenance
environmental health and trading standards
administration and record-keeping, such as marriages, deaths and birth, and local elections.
Some councils allow you to choose to spread your Council Tax payments over 12 months instead of the usual ten. Just ask our council if they offer this option. They ought to give such a request consideration as making the same payment every month might make it easier for some residents to budget. If you pay in 10 installments you won’t pay any in February and March.
FHDC offer eight types of Council Tax discount and exemptions; which you or someone in your household may be entitled to.
If you are having problems paying your Council Tax we strongly advise you contact the Council’s revenue and benefits team, sooner rather than later.
If you believe your Council Tax rate is too high then you can by law challenge this via the Valuation Tribunal Service.
If you are having problems paying your Council Tax, then contact:
Folkestone & Hythe District Council – 01303 853000
or if you can afford to pay:
Educashan on how and what the Council spend residents of the district’s Council Tax, from beginning to end, in a clear concise short video, or other means, would possibly help residents understanding of what they they do with the 14 pence in every pound the Council collects.
The Shepway Vox Team
Journalism for the people NOT the powerful