That the Executive consider the contents of the report and the findings of the Working Group and recommend that Council approve:
i. That the Council Tax levels for the North Yorkshire Council be harmonised over a two year period, commencing in the financial year commencing 1 April 2023;
ii. That the weighted average Council Tax level be maintained for Council Tax harmonisation purposes and that harmonisation be applied on a straight-line basis over the two year period.
Considered – A report of the Corporate Director Strategic Resources advising the Executive of the recommendations of the Council Tax Harmonisation Member Working Group and the process by which it arrived at those recommendations.
Gary Fielding, Corporate Director Strategic Resources introduced the report and provided a brief overview of the work undertaken by the Working Group, as detailed in the report. He also acknowledged the valuable contribution of District Council officers and independent experts who had supported the process.
Finally, Gary Fielding drew attention to the cross party Working Group’s agreed conclusions that:
· Straight-line harmonisation was the most appropriate option as it was deemed to offer the fairest and most straight forward solution; and
· Council Tax yield should be protected and the weighted average Band D Council Tax charge should be maintained throughout the period of harmonisation.
· Council Tax charges across the North Yorkshire Council area be harmonised over two financial years
County Councillor Gareth Dadd recognised that harmonisation was only part of the story given that residents in some areas were also paying one or more precepts as well.
County Councillor Carl Les thanked the Working Group and supporting officers for their work and having noted the findings of the Working Group, the Executive
Resolved – That it be recommended in principle to Council, subject to the outcome of the public consultation, that:
i. The Council Tax levels for the North Yorkshire Council be harmonised over a two year period, commencing in the financial year commencing 1 April 2023;
ii. The weighted average Council Tax level be maintained for Council Tax harmonisation purposes and that harmonisation be applied on a straight-line basis over the two-year period.