Council Tax

Possible under-occupancy exemption for residents in place since 1 January 1996.

Pay online Discounts and exemptions Benefits

How to pay

There are several ways you can pay council tax:

  • Online - you can make a payment to your account (using a debit or credit card - please note that an additional charge of 1.89% of the payment is added for credit card payments), or set up a direct debit (you will need to have your reference number for this - you can find this on your council tax bill)
  • On the phone - call 01546 605515 to make a payment by phone using a debit or credit card - This payment line is now open 24/7 to take council tax payments, just have your council tax reference number ready when you call.
    (please note that an additional charge of 1.89% of the payment is added for credit card payments)
  • In person - at your local customer service point

If you have any enquiries about council tax, you can call us on 01546 605511.

Change of address

If you have changed address, you can let the Council Tax team know using our change of address form

If you are a landlord or letting agent please use this form to notify us of a change of occupancy.

Council Tax Bands for 2014 - 15

BandValuation Band *
Council TaxWaterSewerageTotal Scot WaterTotal
Aup to £27,000785.33126.78147.12273.90
1059.23
B£27,001 – 35,000916.22147.91171.64319.551235.77
C£35,001 – 45,0001047.11169.04196.16365.201412.31
D£45,001 – 58,0001178.00190.17220.68410.851588.85
E£58,001 – 80,0001439.78232.43269.72502.151941.93
F£80,001 – 106,0001701.56274.69318.76593.452295.01
G£106,001 – 212,0001963.33316.95367.80684.752648.08
Hover £212,0002356.00380.34441.36821.703177.70

*(based on market value at 01/04/91)

To get details about specific properties, please visit the Scottish Assessors Association website

Water and Sewerage Charges

Argyll and Bute Council is not responsible for setting these charges but is required by law to include these charges in its bill.

The level of the charges is set by the Water Authority and is subject to scrutiny by the Water Industry Commissioner and the Scottish Government.  Please refer to the enclosed leaflet from Scottish Water for further information on the service provided.

Water and sewerage charges are not included in your bill if you have a metered or private water supply and are connected to a private septic tank.  Please contact the Council’s Customer Service Centre on 01546 605511 if you believe you are wrongly charged for water and sewerage.

For more information on water and sewerage rates please visit the Scottish Water Website

Double Council Tax charge for long term unoccupied properties starting 1 April 2014

If your property is lived in for at least 25 days in the last 12 months, then it is classed as a second home for council tax purposes.  If it is used for less than 25 days in any rolling 12 month period, then it is regarded as an unoccupied property.

With effect from 1 April 2014, properties that have been unoccupied for a period of two years or more will not be entitled to any discount of council tax and instead will be subject to an increase to their council tax charge by 100%.  Properties unoccupied for less than two years but more than one year will also be subject to the double council tax unless they are being actively marketed for sale or let at appropriate conditions. 

These changes do not apply to purpose built holiday homes incapable of habitation throughout the year or job-related properties.

It has been recognised that there would be some circumstances where this will cause particular difficulties for owners and the council will not charge the double council tax for a further 6 month period in certain restricted circumstances as follows:

Properties owned by deceased persons after grant of confirmation has been obtained, but liability to council tax is still due by the estate. These properties will be exempt from the double council tax charge from 1st April 2014 to 30th September 2014 provided the property is actively being marketed for sale or let at appropriate conditions.

Buildings owned by disabled persons where the disabled person has had to move into a more suitable property which better meets their needs.  The property that they vacated will be exempt from the double council tax charge from 1st April 2014 to 30 September 2014 providing it is being actively marketed for sale or let at appropriate conditions and the owner is in receipt of middle or high rate Disability Living Allowance or Personal Independent Payment or where they receive a Disabled Banding Reduction at their new property.

Buildings undergoing major repairs may be exempt from the double council tax charges for a single 6 month period commencing on or after 1 April 2014 and finishing before 31 March 2016 whilst major repair works are under way.  This will only apply whilst these works are being actively carried out and provided that building warrants and planning permission where necessary have been obtained and there is a schedule of works.  Also, if you have recently purchased a property which has been unoccupied for a considerable period of time prior to your purchase and you are intending carrying out major repairs to the property, you will be eligible for a 50% discount for 6 months from date of purchase. See further details under Discounts below.

These changes were agreed at the council meeting of 8 August 2013 using the new powers introduced under The Council Tax (Variation for Unoccupied Dwellings) (Scotland) Regulations 2013 (SSI 2013/45). These changes are being made to provide an incentive to bring empty properties back into use.  If this applies to you, the council’s empty homes officer can provide a range of help to you.

Discounts, exemptions and relief for persons with disabilities

Discounts

A 25% discount on council tax and water charges may be granted if there is only one adult (aged 18 years or over) resident in the property. You must let us know when your status changes.

A status discount on council tax and water charges is available to households where all the adult residents are disregarded e.g. fulltime students, student nurses, apprentices, youth trainees, people receiving long-term residential care, severely mentally impaired and persons in detention.

A second home is a property which is no one’s sole or main residence, but which is furnished and lived in for 25 days or more during the previous 12 months. If your property was not lived in for at least 25 days in the last 12 months, then it must be classified as an unoccupied property rather than as a second home.

A 10% council tax only discount is available for second homes without time limit, and for unoccupied properties for a limited period.  After a certain period, double council tax will apply.

An unoccupied and unfurnished property which is not being actively marketed for sale or let will be eligible for 6 months exemption from council tax from the date last occupied (or from date first entered onto the council tax register for a new build property), followed by 10% discount for 6 months, followed by double the full charge after 12 months.  If it is being actively marketed for sale or let, then the period of 10% discount is extended to 18 months before the double charge applies.

A 50% Discount is available for purpose built holiday homes incapable of habitation throughout the year and for job-related properties for an unlimited time period.  It is also available for properties under repair for 6 months from date of purchase if these properties are not eligible for exemption as more than 12 months has elapsed since the property was last occupied. These discounts do not apply to water charges.

The Water Charges Reduction Scheme provides a reduction of up to 25% automatically to households in receipt of council benefit with 2 or more resident adults who are not already in receipt of status discounts.


Apply for a council tax discount:

Exemptions

There are a number of circumstances where a property may be exempt from Council Tax, e.g.,
Occupied properties may qualify to be exempt where:

  • all the occupants are students or under the age of 18
  • the property is owned by a housing body and are used as trial accommodation for sheltered housing tenants
  • all the occupants are severely mentally impaired
  • Unoccupied premises may qualify to be treated as exempt where the property:
  • has recently been built, or is under reconstruction, is uninhabitable or is awaiting demolition
  • is undergoing major repair work or structural alteration (available for up to12 months from the date the property was last occupied)
  • is unfurnished (up to six months)
  • is empty due to death of occupant   
  • is being held for use by a minister of religion
  • was last occupied by persons disregarded for Council Tax purposes (see above)
  • is repossessed or vested in trustee in bankruptcy
  • is hard to let because it is part of a larger property
  • was last used in connection with agriculture

Council tax - apply for a property exemption:

Relief for Persons with Disabilities

The Council Tax on a property in which a disabled person lives and in which there are special features or facilities required to meet the disabled person's needs is charged at the next lower valuation band.    Band A properties will receive a reduction of the same proportion of the bill.

Details of and advice on discounts, exemptions and disabled persons relief can be obtained from the Customer Service Centre and the Service Points. If you are in receipt of any of the above discounts, exemptions and reliefs and your circumstances change, you must tell us right away.  If you do not tell us, you could be fined £50.

If you have been asked to provide any evidence to the council tax team please use this evidence form.

Council Tax Reduction

If you are looking for information about Council Tax Reduction (which replaced Council Tax Benefit from 1 April 2013) we have put together some factsheets about making an application, further guidance about an existing claim and general queries about benefits.

If you do not pay

If you fail to pay any part of any instalment by the date it is due, we will send you a reminder for the amount of the unpaid instalment. You must pay this within seven days.  If you fail to pay the amount shown on the reminder within seven days, you will lose the right to pay by instalments. You will have to pay the full outstanding balance within another seven days.  If you fail to pay the full outstanding balance within 14 days of this date (and within 28 days of the date of original reminder), we will apply for a Summary Warrant (a legal document that allows us to add 10% to the amount you already owe and to ask a Sheriff to take legal action against you). We will add this 10% to your account.

We can only issue two reminders within any financial year.  If you fail to pay the second reminder within seven days, we may immediately apply for a summary warrant.

Summary Warrant action can lead to:

  • you being asked for details of your employment and bank accounts
  • your earnings and bank accounts being arrested
  • deductions being made from your Income Support or Jobseekers allowance
  • Sheriff Officers being involved in the recovery process

If you are having difficulty in paying your Council Tax, please contact us at the earliest opportunity before we take court action.  We may be able to agree an alternative repayment plan or assist you with obtaining a Council Tax Reduction.

Further information

If you require further information about council tax, or wish to apply for any of the reductions mentioned in this leaflet, please contact our Customer Service Centre 01546 605511 or by e-mail to ctax1@argyll-bute.gov.uk 

Appeal rights

If you have recently purchased your property, you may have a legal right of appeal if you disagree with your valuation band. This should be discussed with the Assessor at: Dunbartonshire and Argyll and Bute Valuation Joint Board, Kilbrannan House, Bolgam Street, Campbeltown PA28 6HZ or 235 Dumbarton Road, Clydebank G81 4XJ.

Appeals, if you disagree with the decision to hold you liable to pay Council Tax or with the calculation of your bill, should be made in writing, within 28 days of receiving your bill, to:

Head of Customer and Support Services,
Argyll and Bute Council,
Witchburn Road,
Campbeltown, PA28 6JU

Should you disagree with the Council’s decision, there is a further right of appeal to a Valuation Appeals Committee.  Your appeal to the Valuation Appeals Committee must be within four months of the date of your original appeal.  Even if you make an appeal you must continue to pay your Council Tax. If your appeal is successful, any overpaid Council Tax will be refunded or transferred to reduce any other outstanding debt to Argyll and Bute Council.

AttachmentSize
Council Tax Reduction - Evidence Checklist27.49 KB
Council Tax Reduction or Housing Benefit Application Form856.14 KB
Council Tax enquiry form32.42 KB
Direct Debit Form776 KB
25% Single Occupancy Discount Form107 KB
Exemption - Properties under repair100.5 KB
Exemption - Charitable bodies97 KB
Exemption - Properties for elderly or disabled persons96.5 KB
Exemption - New property unoccupied and unfurnished97.5 KB
Exemption - Empty property unoccupied and unfurnished98.5 KB
Exemption - Detained in prison / deportation99 KB
Exemption - Providing or receiving care100 KB
Exemption - Estate of a deceased person99 KB
Exemption - Properties empty under statute96.5 KB
Exemption - Property awaiting demolition96.5 KB
Exemption - Property for occupation by minister96.5 KB
Exemption - Property occupied by students etc108 KB
Exemption - Unoccupied property students99 KB
Exemption - Repossessed property96.5 KB
Exemption - agricultural property97.5 KB
Exemption - Under eighteen95.5 KB
Exemption - Properties difficult to let separately97 KB
Exemption - Property of person made bankrupt96.5 KB
Exemption - Visiting forces96.5 KB
Exemption - Property occupied by severely mentally impaired person100 KB
Council Tax discount - Severely mentally impaired101.5 KB
Council Tax discount - Persons in detention99.5 KB
Council Tax discount - Student nurse101 KB
Council Tax discount - Student101 KB
Council Tax discount - Apprentice100 KB
Council Tax discount - Careworker102.5 KB
Council Tax discount - Second home107.5 KB
Council Tax discount - Unoccupied property101 KB
Council Tax discount - Property marketed for sale103 KB
Council Tax discount - Property under repair101 KB
Council Tax discount - Inherited properties105 KB
Council Tax discount - Disabled persons105.5 KB
50% Council Tax discount - Properties under repair46.5 KB