Estimated £1.2m council tax surplus in Bedford carried over to budget for next year

The executive agreed to the proposed distribution of the collection fund surplus without any questions or comments
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An estimated surplus of £1.2 million in council tax will be carried over to Bedford Borough Council’s budget for next year.

On Wednesday (January 4), the council’s executive was asked, if satisfied, to approve the allocation of an estimated surplus in council tax.

A report on the Collection Fund – Estimated Council Tax Position said the estimated surplus on March 31, 2023 would be shared between the council, the police and crime commissioner for Bedfordshire, and the Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue Authority in proportion to their 2022/2023 precepts.

The portfolio holder for finance, councillor Michael Headley (LibDems, Putnoe)The portfolio holder for finance, councillor Michael Headley (LibDems, Putnoe)
The portfolio holder for finance, councillor Michael Headley (LibDems, Putnoe)

Before the beginning of the financial year, billing authorities calculate their council tax requirement (including precepts) and their estimated non-domestic rating income.

Based on these calculations, payments from the collection fund are “fixed” and paid over the course of the year.

The Local Government Finance Act 1992 requires the council to determine the estimated surplus or deficit on their Collection Fund as at 31 March in respect of Council Tax prior to 15 January preceding the financial year for which budget calculations are to be made.

This is so the precepting authorities can be notified and take their share of the surplus or deficit into account before finalising their precepts for 2023/2024.

Table showing surplus impactTable showing surplus impact
Table showing surplus impact

The portfolio holder for finance, councillor Michael Headley (LibDems, Putnoe) told the Executive: “This report calculates the forecast council tax collection fund surplus for the current year.

“This is over £1.5 million in total, of which the Bedford Borough Council share is £1.26 million.

“This, of course, will be carried forward and used in the budget report that you’ll see in a few weeks time,” he said.

The executive agreed to the proposed distribution of the collection fund surplus without any questions or comments.

Sources

BBC Executive 4/1/23

Spreading collection fund deficits, a paper by MHCLG.

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