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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. Discounts or exemptions may apply in some circumstances.

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 existed on that date.

How Council Tax is spent

Our Guide to Council Tax and Business Rates (pdf, 2.8 MB) gives details of what your Council Tax is used to pay for.

How Council Tax is calculated

There are four steps:

  1. We estimate how much is needed to pay for Council services for the year. We have to try to ensure that our level of expenditure is acceptable to Central Government.
  2. We add in the amount we are required to collect for the Greater London Authority.
  3. We deduct income received from the 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.
  4. This is converted into the tax for each band by taking into account the number of properties in each band, using detailed Government rules.

Read more about the current property bands and charges.


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Updated: 21 March 2024

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