The Council Tax you pay goes towards funding the services provided by the county, district/borough and town/parish councils, as well as police and fire services, in your area. Each organisation sets the amount (or ‘precept’) it requires each year and this is raised through Council Tax.
The amount you pay is related to the valuation of the property that you live in, based on its estimated selling price on 1 April 1991 and is not affected by subsequent changes in house prices. All new properties are valued as if they had existed on 1 April 1991, not what they are actually worth in today’s property market.
The value of properties is then organised into categories known as ‘bands’, with Band D being the average.
The Valuation Office Agency (VOA) is responsible for the valuation and banding of all properties. For further information see: www.gov.uk/government/organisations/valuation-office-agency
You can check the banding of your property at www.gov.uk/council-tax-bands
What happens if I make improvements to my property?
Any later improvements to an existing property, such as an extension or conservatory, will not immediately affect the banding. However, the council will inform the VOA of the improvements and its council tax banding could be changed if the property changes hands.
A reduction in the value of your property, for example following demolition of part of the property, will also lead to the council tax banding being reviewed. In such cases, any re-banding will take effect immediately.
Can I Appeal?
If you think the Council Tax banding for your property is wrong, you can ask the VOA to review and correct it. However, you can only challenge the council tax band for your property if:
- you have become the new council tax payer for the property within the last 6 months
- there has been a significant increase or reduction in the value of your property, or
- you change the use of the property, such as to stop or start using it to carry out a business, or the balance between domestic and business use changes.
Any questions or challenges to Council Tax banding should be made to your local valuation office. This service is free. For more information, see: www.gov.uk/council-tax-appeals
You should still pay you Council Tax, even if you intend to appeal.