Millions of families will be hit with yet another inflation-busting council tax rise in April.
Almost every town hall in England is raising the annual charge by the maximum possible 3.99 per cent – more than double the inflation rate of 1.8 per cent.
Half of the increase will go towards paying for adult social care – which continues to be the number one drain on council finances across the country. While the remaining 1.99 per cent will be used to plug the gap in council budgets.
Out of 151 councils in England that look after social care, not one council is freezing its council tax and fewer than 15 are slapping on a hike of less than 3.9 per cent.
But the final rise for residents will actually be higher, because these figures don’t include separate tax hikes on behalf of police and fire authorities, or district or parish councils.
Local government minister Luke Hall has insisted the funding package will provide a £2.9billion rise in council spending – 4.4 per cent in real teams – including £1.5billion for social care.
But Labour say more than half this cash boost is only happening thanks to the above-inflation Council Tax rises – which essentially pass the buck to local families.
Many councils have also warned they may raise charges for services such as parking, garden waste disposal and aspects of social care.
(Image: Getty Images/Science Photo Libra)
How much will my Council Tax go up?
Enter your postcode and select your Band below to see your area’s projected rise in April 2020.
Scroll down for a fuller explanation of what the figures mean.
Search tool compiled by Carlos Nóvoa and Claire Miller.
What is my Council Tax band?
Houses are ‘banded’ from Band A to Band H depending on how valuable they are, and a formula is then applied to the Band D rate to determine how much you pay.
In theory Band D is the average home, though in some areas – poorer parts of the north of England for example, and in Northumbria – the majority of homes are actually in Band A.
So some councils contest the idea that a Band D home is ‘average’, because actually most people are in the cheapest bracket.
You can search for your Council Tax band here or find it on last year’s bill.
Do I get a Council Tax discount?
Several groups can get a discount off the full rate of Council Tax or not pay it at all. They include:
- Full-time students (100% off)
- Armed Forces in Forces accommodation (100% off)
- People who have moved into a care home or hospital (100% off)
- People who live alone (25% off)
- Apprentices, student nurses, monks and nuns, carers (up to 50% off)
However, if you’re in a mixed household you may still have to pay the full rate. Use the government’s tool here to see if you’re eligible.
For news tailored to your local area:
What do the figures include?
Your council tax is made up of several different sections called “precepts”, which all rise at different rates.
We have calculated using the rise in by far the biggest precept, your social care authority.
Your social care authority (a County, Met Borough, London Borough or Unitary council) can rise by up to 3.99% this year, depending on where you live.
What do the figures NOT include?
Our projected bill does not include the rise in the precept for parish councils, smaller district councils,fire authorities, police authorities or the Greater London Authority.
It includes those precepts at last year’s rates, but without the rise expected in April.
However, these precepts are comparatively smaller – so the rise to all of them is usually less than £10-20 put together. A little more for the Greater London Authority.
Our figures also only apply to the council system in England, not Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland.
We don’t include certain precept rises – for example for fire authorities (Image: Rex)
If you live in a new build home, it might show an invalid postcode because it is too new for our database.
And finally, in some cases our widget shows recommended rises, not the final rates agreed by councillors at their full budget meeting.