What is council tax and how is it spent?

Find out about council tax and how the money is spent.

In this guide

What is council tax

Council tax is a tax on residential properties, such as houses, flats and caravans. It's paid by the occupiers, or in some cases the owners of a property.

Council tax is an annual charge that we charge for the services we provide, such as:

  • adult social care, supporting independent living, mental health and dementia emergencies
  • schools, school admissions and attendance
  • support for families, children's centres and youth services
  • community safety orders and neighbourhood safety officers
  • refuse collection, recycling centres, noise pollution and fly tipping penalty notices
  • planning applications, building control, licensing, trading standards and food safety
  • street maintenance, repairs, parking permits and fines, and the blue badge parking exemption scheme
  • council housing and maintenance, homelessness, housing benefit, council tax support and reductions
  • leisure centres, museums, libraries and parks
  • birth, death and marriage registration and civil ceremonies, cemeteries and cremations

Included in your bill are amounts we collect on behalf of the Greater London Authority (GLA) to help fund the Metropolitan Police, London Fire Brigade and transport services.

The amount you pay is calculated according to the banding of your property based on the market value on 1 April 1991. Bands are set by the Valuation Office Agency (VOA).

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