Council tax will rise by an average of 4% across England in the 2017-18 tax year – the biggest hike in more than a decade.
Some 320 out of 326 local authorities in England will increase council tax bills, according to data published by the government today. Just six areas – City of London, Hammersmith & Fulham, Hillingdon, East Staffordshire, Havant and Newham – will freeze bills.
For the upcoming year, local authorities are allowed to add up to an extra 3% to council tax bills, without the need for a referendum, to help fund adult social care in their communities.
See our interactive map to find out what’s happening to your council tax across local authorities and county councils, and how this compares to the rest of the country. The map also includes figures for Scotland and Wales.
Biggest council tax hike in more than a decade
Since 2012, local authorities wanting to implement an annual council tax rise of 2% or more have had to put their proposals to a referendum.
However, central government has granted councils the power to add a ‘social care precept’, worth an additional 3%, in the next two tax years.
This essentially means your local authority can raise council tax bills by up to 5% without holding a referendum, so long as the additional funds raised are put towards social care.
Out of the 326 authorities in England, 57 chose to up council tax bills by 5%, while another 26 moved to hike them by more than this. This is largely due to changes in ‘individual parish precepts’, which aren’t subject to the 5% referendum rule.
The average tax rise of 4% across England represents the biggest hike since 2007-08. The table below details how much average council tax rates has risen by in the last 10 years.
|Tax year||Average council tax due on a Band D property||Average annual % increase|
How to lower your council tax bill
Council tax rates are based on the value of the property you live in at a certain point in time. Your property is placed in a council tax band based on this value. Each band pays a different rate of council tax.
If you disagree with the banding of your property, you can get it revalued and potentially moved into a cheaper band. Our guide on disputing your council tax bill explains who is likely to be able to successfully apply for the home to be revalued.
There are also many scenarios in which you can apply for a council tax discount. See our guide on reducing your council tax bill for a full list of circumstances in which you may be eligible for this.