Council tax -
who pays what
Put simply, council tax is the money levied by local authorities to provide
services such as refuse collection, street lighting, etc. The amount of council
tax you have to pay depends on the market value of your home on 1 April 1991,
the area you live in and the number of the people in your home. Only one
bill is sent to each household.
Properties are valued and divided into various council tax bands. Each local
authority sets its own valuations within each band and the amount of council
tax each local authority charges depends on their spending plans for the
year. The tax is calculated slightly differently in Scotland.
All households are liable to pay council tax, although there are discounts
for people living on their own, students living with other non-students and
people with disabilities. Student households pay no tax at all. Households
with low incomes can claim council tax benefit, which covers some or all
the cost of council tax.
In most cases, council tax is paid monthly, with many people now paying by
Who pays the most?
We've just come to the end of councils setting their rates for the coming
tax year. In England, the average council tax per dwelling will be £967
in 2004/05, compared with £908 in 2003/04.
The average council tax per dwelling will be £1,035 in London, £1,005
in shire areas and £813 in metropolitan areas. These figures take into
account reductions due to discounts but do not include reductions due to
The table below shows the average amount by region to be paid in
Region Average per household % increase
Yorkshire and the Humber £836 6.3%
North East £851 6.2%
North West £881 4.9%
West Midlands £901 5.3%
East Midlands £917 6.7%
South West £1,009 7.5%
London £1,035 6.8%
East of England £1,036 6.8%
South East £1,098 7.0%
The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister website offers handy donwloads showing
the council tax in each individual area so you can see how your area compares
with everyone else's.
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Call 0800 085 3250 for details of IFAs in your local area. Any statement
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