Monday, 2 January 2012

Council tax charge on moorings.

Most inland waterways users are aware of the difference in BW rules and regulations between residential and leisure mooring. At the same time, we are all aware of those who bend the BW rules and regulations a bit to evade paying council tax, water rates, residential mooring fees and such other dues.

This state of affairs has come around because of marina operators (whoever that might be) need specific planning permission from the local council for residential moorings. The residents domiciled within the marina covered by residential planning permission are expected to pay the local council tax and go on the electoral roll.

Leisure moorings where people choose to live aboard full time were in the past in a council tax grey area. But not any more. Changes are about to take place that can effect all marinas,  including the ones in the past offering unofficial residential facilities by turning a blind eye to live aboard's.

Did you know that additional State benefits can now be paid to people choosing to live on a boat. Even one that is only covered by a leisure mooring agreement. Councils will also pay housing benefit and council tax benefit,  to anyone living on a residential or leisure mooring, legal or otherwise.

Each case has to be considered upon its own merits. In some cases people on benefits living full time on a leisure mooring in marina could be considered liable to pay Council Tax. However, it is now a matter to be decided between the boater and Council's Valuation Officer.  What does happen is that any council tax payments made to anyone on state benefit then becomes a matter of public record.

The claimants never see the money as it is passed internally between one department and another. The actual council services covered by the council tax charge don't have to be provided either.  This is a win win situation for people who qualify for certain state benefits. All courtesy of the new changes being proposed for council planning systems.  Intended for reducing the level of bureaucracy throughout the whole current planning process. 


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