The Authority receives funding from Council Tax and various Government grants, which for 2014/15 total £39,746k and £30,590k respectively. A further £185k is also received from the net collection fund surplus.
Council Tax – This is the primary source of income for the Authority. The level of Council Tax raised is now impacted upon by the level of council tax discounts given to tax payers on low incomes and the level of exemptions granted. In 2014/15 the maximum level of discount available for those on low incomes has reduced in many Kent Authorities. As a consequence some claimants who were required to pay 8.5% of their Council Tax bill in 2013/14 will now be required to pay up to 18.5% of the bill which may affect collection rates in the future.
Business Rates - From April 2013 billing authorities will no longer pay all business rates they collect to the Government. Instead only 50% of the amount collected will be paid to the Government, with the remaining 50% being distributed locally. FRAs will receive 2% of this local share.
Collection Fund Surplus/Deficit - Each year there can be either a surplus or a deficit on the Collection Fund for Council Tax and Business Rates. For 2014/15 there is a net surplus of £185k on the collection funds.
Revenue Support Grant – As in previous years, the Government will continue to redistribute some funding on this basis.
Council Tax Freeze Grant - This is the fourth year of a four year grant paid to those authorities who froze their Council Tax in 2011/12 and the second year of a two year grant paid for those that froze Council Tax in 2013/14. Both grants have now been included in the Authority’s baseline funding.
Council Tax Support Grant - This is paid to both billing and precepting authorities in recognition of the impact of the reduction to the Council Tax base caused by the changes to the benefit system. For this Authority, the grant for 2014/15 is expected to be £5,418k.
Top-Up Grant - As the Authority’s share of business rates collected locally will be less than the amount previously paid through formula grant, an additional top-up grant of £4,611k will be paid by the Government.
Amounts Redistributed – The illustrative settlement for 2014/15 announced as part of the 2013/14 settlement, proposed to hold back some Revenue Support Grant for capitalisation. Not all of this money was allocated in 2013/14 therefore it has been redistributed to Local Authorities in 2014/15 based on their Settlement Funding Assessment base, so for this Authority the amount redistributed is £39k.