Council Tax on parsonage houses is the responsibility of the Parish. Council Tax notices are currently sent to Church House for re-distribution; however this causes unnecessary additional administrative work and can delay notices reaching the parish. This can cause problems if the notices relate to late payment of instalments.
When a minister vacates or moves in to a property, the parish will know the exact date, and can notify the council directly in order to obtain any exemption entitlement during a vacancy. There may also be other circumstances i.e. single occupancy or disability allowance, which may be entitled to a discount. The Diocese has no authority over PCC’s bank accounts to change payments to the Council and it therefore, makes more sense for the PCC to be in direct contact with the Council.
In order to improve communication between the Parish and the Council, the Diocese is currently in the process of changing the address details for Council Tax Notices, with all the councils. From March 2014 all councils have been asked to send Council Tax notices direct to the property address marked C/o PCC Treasurer. Ministers should pass these to their PCC Treasurers as soon as possible. If for any reason this causes problems for a parish then the PCC can contact the council to make alternative arrangements for receiving notices. During a vacancy the churchwardens should be vigilant in picking up post and checking for Council letters.
There will be some exceptions to this i.e. properties for sale and properties owned directly by a parish. These will be dealt with on an individual basis based on the circumstances.
There may be some initial teething problems, so can we please ask PCC Treasurers for their understanding and patience during the change period and as always, if you have any queries please contact the Surveyors department for assistance.