Annual council tax notices
You should receive your annual council tax notice during March. You can pay your bill by Direct Debit, online, by telephone or in person.
Here are answers to some frequently asked questions that might help you:
My council tax has gone up this year. What happened to the council tax freeze?
The council budget for 2017/18 was approved at a meeting of Dumfries and Galloway Council on Tuesday 28 February. The approved budget will see a rise in council tax of 3%.
We carried out a budget consultation in 2016 and asked you for your views on council tax, 70% of those who took part said that they agreed that council tax should be increased. The Administration agreed with the public on this with the stipulation that the extra income will be ring-fenced for education. The rise still means council tax in Dumfries and Galloway is the lowest in mainland Scotland.
Changes to the way council tax is applied across a range of bands higher than D will also take place from 1 April 2017. This is a Scottish Government decision, there has been no local discretion granted to local authorities and we must implement these changes.
Another charge that's on the increase is water and wastewater. Scottish Water has taken the decision to increase water and wastewater charges by 1.6% for the 2017/18 financial year. We have a duty to collect these charges on behalf of Scottish Water.
Can I appeal against my council tax banding?
You might be able to appeal if you think the banding is incorrect.
Why am I being charged for water and sewerage when I'm not connected to the mains supply?
Check your bill carefully. You'll only be charged the amounts shown in the calculation box but we're required by law to include the amount water and sewerage would cost on the notice for your information.
Contact us if the water and sewerage charges are shown in the calculation box on your bill and you don't have mains connection. We'll query it with Scottish Water on your behalf.
Can I get a council tax reduction to help me pay if I'm impacted by the increase for bands, E, F G and H but I'm on a low income?
Targeted relief is available to those who live in a band E, F, G or H property.
You'll be entitled to claim an exemption if your capital is less than £16,000 or you receive Guaranteed Pension Credit and your household income is below £321 per week for a single person or £479 per week for couples or single people with children.
You may still be entitled to some relief if your income is slightly above these levels. You will need to apply for a council tax reduction.
Do I need to apply for targeted relief if I'm already in receipt of council tax reduction and live in a Band E-H property?
No, if you're a low income household and already in receipt of a council tax reduction then you don't need to apply. Your annual demand for 2017/18 will include any reduction you are entitled to.
Do I quality for disabled band reduction?
You may be able to claim for a reduction if you (or someone who lives with you on a permanent basis) is disabled and the house has been modified to help the disabled person stay at home.
Why does my notice not show my new address?
The information for the bills was extracted from our database on Tuesday 28 February 2017. If you advised us of a change after that date then it will not show on your annual bill but you'll be issued with a new bill shortly.
How do I set up a direct debit payment?
You can set up a direct debit mandate online:
Can I get any reduction if I'm on a low income?
Your council tax may be reduced if you are on a low income or benefits:
I think I might be entitled to a discount how can I check?
You may be entitled to a discount or exemption on your council tax under special circumstance:
Why doesn't my bill show the council tax reduction I recently claimed?
The information for the bills was extracted from our database on Tuesday 28 February 2017. Your new claim won't show if it was awarded after Sunday 26 February 2017 but you'll get a new bill shortly.
You'll also get a decision notice confirming the outcome of your claim. Contact us if you've received a decision notice dated Friday 26 February or earlier but your annual bill does not include the reduction.
Why doesn't my bill reflect a recent change of circumstances?
The information for the bills was extracted from our database on Tuesday 28 February 2017. Your new change of circumstances won't show if you reported it after Sunday 26 February 2017 but you'll get a new bill shortly.
We might not have been able to deal with some changes received before Sunday 26 February but you'll be issued a new bill shortly if it's been processed. You'll also get a decision notice confirming your change has been dealt with. Contact us if you've received a decision letter dated Sunday 26 February or earlier but your annual bill doesn't show the change.
Report any change of circumstances to us now if you haven't already:
Why doesn't my bill show any council tax reduction even though I've been receiving it for some time and there's been little or no change to my circumstances?
A slight change in circumstances can result in you not being entitled to any further council tax reduction if the amount you were receiving was low. Contact us if you'd like to check this.
Why do I still have to pay even though I'm receiving full council tax reduction?
Your bill shows a council tax charge as well as water and sewerage charges which are set by Scottish Water. Council tax reduction only covers your council tax charge so you still need to pay for water and sewerage.
I have a second home (or holiday home) why does my bill not show my second home discount?
Second homes or private holiday homes had a 10% discount prior to 1 April 2017. A decision to remove the discount in Dumfries and Galloway was made at the full Council budget meeting on 28 February 2017.
I have a long term empty property which currently has relief from the tariff why has my bill gone up more than the 3% rise?
Long term empty properties which had relief from the tariff were awarded a 10% discount to keep them in line with second homes prior to 1 April 2017. This discount has been removed from second homes therefore it has been removed from long term empty properties. You will still receive the relief from the 100% tariff.
I have children and notice that my council tax reduction entitlement has increased in 2017/18 in comparison to my liability but my income hasn't changed. Why is this?
This may be due to the Scottish Government amending the council tax reduction scheme for low income households with children. They have increased what is known as the child allowance by 25% for each child. This means that council tax reduction for households with children who are not already on full council tax reduction may increase.