By Ian Dipple Tuesday 09 October 2012 Updated: 10/10 14:33
RESIDENTS are being urged to have their say on how Redditch Borough Council should deal with a cut to the money it receives to pay out council tax benefits.
From April the Government will grant only 90 per cent of the money the council expects to need to pay out, leaving councillors to decide how to make-up a £650,000 shortfall.
As the Standard reported last month, options being considered include making people with second homes pay the full amount of council tax instead of just 50 per cent, removing discounts on long and short-term empty properties or only allowing council tax discounts on Band D properties and below - those worth up to £88,000 based on 1991 prices when the last valuation was carried out - for those working age families on low incomes.
Close to 650 properties could be affected but the elderly and vulnerable will be protected.
The options will close between all and half of the gap which for Redditch Borough Council is £90,000, £77,000 for the police, £32,000 for the fire service and £451,000 for Worcestershire County Council, all of which receive a portion of each council tax bill.
Council leader Bill Hartnett said: "We have had to make up the shortfall from somewhere but we have made sure that this is in areas where there will be less impact and that the vulnerable people in our communities, like our older residents, are protected."
The consultation runs until November 30. An electronic copy of the survey is available at www.redditchbc.gov.uk or call 01527 64252 for a hard copy or they are available from the Town Hall.
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