Council Tax: What does Council Tax pay for?

Council Tax is a property tax implanted in England, Scotland and Wales. They help local Governments pay for a wide array of public services, many of which continue to function through the coronavirus pandemic.

What does Council Tax pay for?

Councils set their tax in bands they evaluate every year based on the value someone’s property which local councils levy to top up Government spending.

The five bands tax people based on house prices ranging from £40,000 to over £320,000, with those in the lowest band paying three times less than those on the top.

Their tax goes to the local council, which then allocates the extra funding to one of several services.


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Councils administrate most local services, with the exemption of the NHS and other health providers.

They function with both Government funding and local taxation, which forms an overall budget overseen by council members.

Overall, council members will allocate money to local education, leisure, police, firemen and other services.

What they can spend on is limited by the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy.

Here is the full list of what Council Tax pays for:

  • Police and fire services
  • Leisure and recreation projects such as parks and sports centre upkeep
  • Libraries and education services
  • Rubbish and waste collection and disposal
  • Transport and highway services including street lighting and cleaning, and road maintenance
  • Environmental health and trading standards
  • Administration and record-keeping, like marriages, deaths and birth, and local elections

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Those who pay council tax are the “liable person” who pay monthly for the household.

Other members can contribute to the overall cost apart from children, as people under the age of 18 cannot pay.

Couples living under the same roof or married become “jointly and severally liable”.

The rule applies even if there is only one name on the bill when it arrives.

Council tax is split into the following five bands based on property price:

  • Band A: Up to £40,000
  • Band B: Over £40,000 and up to £52,000
  • Band C: Over £52,000 and up to £68,000
  • Band D: Over £68,000 and up to £88,000
  • Band E: Over £88,000 and up to £120,000
  • Band F: Over £120,000 and up to £160,000
  • Band G: Over £160,000 and up to £320,000
  • Band H: Over £320,000

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