Council Tax prize draw!
Householders in West Oxfordshire are being given the chance to get their Council Tax paid for six months (worth £625, equivalent to Band D property) by entering a free prize draw run by the District Council.
The prize draw is being organised as part of a campaign by West Oxfordshire District Council to encourage more people to pay their Council Tax by safe, secure direct debit - which helps save money and keep Council Tax bills down.
The Council is writing to every household in the District inviting people to enter the draw by filling out a detachable slip and returning it to the Council by no later than February 28th. Households that already pay by direct debit can take part. Other households will have the chance to enter if they sign up to pay by direct debit.
Two winners - one an existing and one a new direct debit payer - will be picked at random to get £625 each off their Council Tax, equivalent to six months free for a Band D property for 2006/07. The prizes have been kindly donated by HSBC bank and will apply from April 1st, when the new Council Tax bill comes into force.
Two second prize winners will also receive three months' free membership at Carterton, Chipping Norton or Witney's Windrush Leisure Centre, kindly donated by Wycombe Leisure Ltd, which runs the centres on the Council's behalf.
Sixty-three per cent of West Oxfordshire's 42,000 households already pay by direct debit and Frank Wilson, the Council's Director of Resources, said he hoped the prize draw would highlight the convenience of this payment method, as well as inform people of the cost effectiveness of it.
He explained: "West Oxfordshire District Council has one of the lowest Council Tax charges in the country and is continually striving to keep bills low for residents.
"Paying by direct debit can really make a difference - the administration savings on direct debit payments, compared with other methods, are £6 per account, per year. If everyone in the District changed to paying by direct debit, we'd save a massive £90,000 this year."
Householders are reminded that the payment date for their Council Tax will change from the 14th to the 1st of the month as of April 1st after feedback from taxpayers who said this would be more convenient.
Direct debit payment instructions are being sent out with the letters to households who do not currently pay this way. People can also log onto www.westoxon.gov.uk, email
firstname.lastname@example.org, or call: 01993 861040 for a form.
The Council Tax bill for 2007/08 will be set by the Council in March. Details will be made available online at www.westoxon.gov.uk as soon as possible afterwards and individual bills will be sent to every household.
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