Results of an online poll by Zoopla show that council tax is seen as the most overpriced bill we have to pay. So where does your council tax go, and is there any way to reduce the amount of council tax you pay?
How much is council tax?
Council tax adds up to around a quarter of a local government’s income. According to gov.uk, how much council tax you pay depends on these three things:
1. Your home’s valuation band
2. How much your council charges for that band
3. Whether you are entitled to a reduced bill
How do you pay council tax?
You can pay annually or in monthly instalments, either via direct debit, standing order, or at the Post Office.
Where does your council tax go?
Whilst the answer to this question varies according to each council, council tax essentially goes towards funding the following:
• Police and fire services: Whilst both of these services also receive funding from other sources, your council tax also contributes to the proficient running of the service.
• Your local library: As well as book lending, libraries also offer classes and IT facilities.
• Education: Council tax is sometimes used to boost after-school care.
• Street cleaning and waste collection: This includes recycling and commercial collections.
• Record keeping and administration: This includes costs of running the council, local elections, registrars of marriages, deaths, and births.
• Recreation facilities: Your council tax also pays for the upkeep of public spaces, parks, galleries, theatres, museums and swimming pools.
• Social services programs: This can range from childcare to assistance for vulnerable individuals.
Can you reduce your council tax?
To reduce your council tax, there are a few avenues to try:
• Check whether any discounts or exemptions apply to you. Discounts could apply if you live alone or with minors, if no occupants qualify as adults, or if everyone in the property is a full-time student.
• Think about getting your property’s Council Tax Band re-valued. However, this does not come without risks. Property prices haven’t been revisited for some time, and while you could move to a cheaper band, you could also end up moving to a more expensive one.
Whether you’re looking to buy, sell, let, or rent a property, call the Kingsley Hamilton Estates team today on 020 7078 0214, or send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.