What is Council Tax?
Council Tax is the local tax which helps pay for local services. There is one bill for each home, whether it is a house, flat, bungalow, maisonette, mobile home or houseboat, and whether it is owned or rented.
The bill is based on the value of your home on 1 April 1991. Any increase or fall in your home's value as a result of general changes in the housing market since then will not affect its Council Tax Valuation.
Properties that did not exist or which have been altered since 1 April 1991 are assessed as though they were in existence on that date.
How do we calculate the Council Tax?
There are five steps:
- We estimate how much is needed for Council Services for the year. We have to try to ensure that our level of expenditure is acceptable to Central Government and will not result in the Council being designated for capping.
- We add in the amount we are required to collect for the Greater London Authority.
- We deduct income received from revenue support grant (the general grant from Central Government), our share of the national business rates and take account of any penalties under the Council Tax Subsidy Limitation Rules and over or under collection of last year's tax.
- This is converted into the tax for each band by taking into account the number of properties in each band using detailed Government rules.
- There has been no increase in the Council element for 2013/14, however, there has been a small decrease in the Greater London Authority element. The position for each band is shown on the Council Tax property bands and charges page.
Council Tax is based on at least two adults living in a property, but some people are not counted when council tax is calculated. If there is more than one adult in your home you might still get a discount. Each application form includes notes explaining how you may qualify. View our discount page here.
You do not have to pay council tax on some homes. These homes are known as exempt. Each exemption application form includes notes explaining how you may qualify. View our exemption page here.