Special expenses consultation
The Council is currently consulting on proposals to introduce Special Expenses in relation to three functions which are delivered by Cheshire West and Chester Council in some parts of the borough but are delivered in other areas by the local (i.e. town or parish) council.
Where this happens, local taxpayers in the parish experience ‘double taxation’ as they are effectively paying twice for the delivery of the local service – once through their parish precept and again through the principal authority’s element of the Council Tax.
Government guidance recommends that principal councils take steps to alleviate or eliminate the impact of double taxation. One suggested approach is the determination and application of ‘Special Expenses’ to such concurrent functions.
The three functions initially explored and identified as proposed Special Expenses based on available delivery and costing information are open access play spaces, Christmas lights and Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs). These are all functions performed by the Council in some parts of the Borough and parish councils in others.
Should Special Expenses be applied against these functions, the overall level of council tax raised across the area will not change. However, it will be:
- relatively lower for areas where the parish council performs the concurrent function, as it includes the parish’s costs but not the council’s costs of performing that function elsewhere; and
- relatively higher, for areas where the Council performs the concurrent function, as all of the Council’s costs of performing the concurrent function are met by taxpayers in the areas where the council performs it.
A more detailed report outlining the rationale for using and impact of applying Special Expenses was considered by the Executive on 11 January 2012:
The Leader of the Council has written to all parish councils and known residents’ / community groups informing them of the proposals and seeking their views on implementation.
For further information, or to comment on the proposals, please
- Write to us at Partnerships and Area Working Team, HQ Building, 58 Nicholas Street, Chester, CH1 2NP (please mark it ‘Special Expenses Consultation’)
- Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
- Call 0300 123 8 123 and ask to comment on the Special Expenses consultation.