Council Tax explained
What is Council Tax
Council Tax is the current form of local taxation for domestic properties which local authorities use to raise money to pay for around 23.5% of the cost of local services such as Education, Social Services, Refuse Collection and so on.
Council Tax is a property tax with a personal element. The property element is based on the property's valuation band. The personal element takes into account the number of people aged over 18 living in a property and allows for a discount to be granted in some circumstances.
Who pays Council Tax
- a freeholder who lives in the property (for example, an owner-occupier);
- a leaseholder who lives in the property (for example, an assured tenant);
- a tenant who lives in the property;
- a licensee who lives in the property;
- someone else living in the property (for example, a squatter).
If two or more people fall into the highest category, they will be equally responsible for paying Council Tax. This is known as 'joint and several liability'. This means that we can ask any of the people to pay all the Council Tax bill. It does not mean that each person is only responsible for their share of the bill.
A married couple, or a couple living together as husband and wife, or civil partners will also be jointly liable, even if one partner falls into a lower category.
If nobody is living at a property, the owner has to pay Council Tax.
There are also some special cases where the owner has to pay Council Tax even though there are people living in the property:
- residential care homes, nursing homes and some hostels;
- homes of ministers of religion;
- homes of religious communities;
- homes of domestic servants;
- houses where several families live (multiple occupation); and
- houses occupied by asylum seekers.
Where Council Tax goes
Council Tax contributes to the Council's budget. The money raised from Council Tax together with Government grants is used to pay for hundreds of local services.
Council tax for the year 2023/24 is £1,734.72 based on a Band D property
79% of homes in Neath Port Talbot are in Bands A, B or C and will pay less. The average council tax in Neath Port Talbot is £1,478.97. This doesn't include the funding we collect on behalf of the police and community councils.