Flood-hit homes set to be exempt from council tax

RESIDENTS who are flooded out of their homes around Bognor Regis could be exempt from council tax.

Councillors have agreed to recommend the discretionary relief should be awarded for homeowners who are victims of major disasters.

Iain Bell, Arun District Council’s revenues manager, told the overview select committee the exemption would apply in emergencies such as the June 2012 floods which forced householders to leave their properties.

More than 200 homes were affected. Some 40 were still uninhabitable last April.

“I believe there are still a handful of properties affected,” he said at last Tuesday’s meeting.

“If a major incident forces people out of their main homes, I feel we should have the discretion to award an exemption for up to 18 months.”

Sussex Police and West Sussex County Council will be consulted about the seriousness of the situation.The properties will be regularly checked.

Cllr Phil Hitchins (C, Aldwick W) said: “This is a sensible policy and I fully support it.

“It’s needed.”

The present relief is 50 per cent but it has been 100 per cent.