The average Band D council tax bill in England rose by £67 today to almost £2,000 a year.
Official figures show the 3.5% rise – although Tory ministers insist most increases would be capped at 3% – takes England’s average bill for a Band D home to 1 £966.
It comes at the same time as a cost of living crisis that sees National Insurance, inflation and energy bills soar while income tax thresholds are frozen for millions, causing the biggest drop in revenue since records began in the 1950s.
It means families in Strip D homes will benefit from almost half of this year’s £150 rebate – which is intended to pay for soaring energy costs – swallowed up by council tax hikes .
The average Band A bill will increase to £1,310, Band B to £1,529 and Band C to £1,747 per year.
The totals do not take into account this year’s £150 cut for families in Bands A-D to help pay spiraling energy bills.
But the £150 discount is one-time and won’t be applied next year, when bills are likely to rise again, with the average Band D total exceeding £2,000 for the first time.
Scroll down to use our council tax increase finder.
Council tax brackets are decided by looking at the approximate value of a house.
Since most homes are in lower bands, the D-band council tax isn’t really average.
After the £150 reduction, the average council tax per dwelling will be £1,375 in 2022/23.
But the latest rise will mean Band D bills have risen by more than £500 a year since the Tories took power in 2010.
Most councils responsible for social care have been told they could raise bills by 2.99% – 1% for care and 1.99% for general funds – in 2022/23.
But figures earlier this week confirmed that 63 out of 151 in England were raising their bills by more than 3% – with Bolsover’s bills rising by 5.33%.
This is partly because town halls that did not use all of a 3% allocation last time can carry it over to 2022/23. It is also because certain segments or individual “precepts” of the council tax can increase by more than 3%.
Despite the significant increases, councils will still find themselves worse off and considering service cuts, with inflation expected to hit 9% this year.
Andrew Dixon, founder of campaign group Fairer Share, demanded an overhaul of the entire council tax system, based on house values in 1991.
He said: ‘The latest council tax increases are sky-high, unfair and an affront to millions of people in low-income homes across the UK.
“The Chancellor must now urgently stop fiddling while Rome burns.
“As the cost of living crisis deepens further, the time has come to scrap council tax and stamp duty and introduce a modern proportional property tax that reflects existing property prices, and not the values of more than 30 years ago.”
Tax Justice UK executive director Robert Palmer added: “This will add to the cost of living scandal that families are currently facing.
“An increase in housing tax will affect the poorest households much more than the richest. It is a political choice to authorize the increase of the housing tax while setting up a national insurance.
“Rishi Sunak needs to rethink. It should close the tax loopholes open to the rich and powerful.
“He should also put in place a windfall tax on oil and gas companies like BP who are enjoying a massive windfall as people across the country struggle to pay their energy bills.”
A government spokesperson said: “We understand the pressures people are facing with the cost of living. These are global challenges, but the government has committed a £22billion package to help support families and ensure people keep more of their money.
“Our £150 council tax refund will mean council tax costs will not increase for the majority of people, including those on the lowest incomes. This comes with a £200 reduction in energy bills in October.
“An additional £144m will also be given to councils to provide discretionary support to any household in need, regardless of the council’s tax bracket”
How much will my housing tax increase?
Search tool created by CARLOS NÓVOA and CLAIRE MILLER of REACH DATA UNIT.
Enter your zip code and select your band below to see your region’s projected increase starting April 1, 2022. These numbers are not the latest increases – they are as our research indicated in February. Updated government figures were released earlier this week. Scroll down for a fuller explanation of what the numbers mean.
How can I calculate my council tax bracket?
Homes are “grouped” from Band A to Band H based on their value, and a formula is then applied to the Band D rate to determine how much you pay.
In theory, Band D is the average house, although in some areas – the poorer parts of northern England for example, and in Northumbria – the majority of houses are actually in Band A.
Thus, some councils dispute the idea that a D-band house is “average”, because in fact most people are in the cheapest bracket.
You can search for your council tax band here on the government website or on last year’s bill.
What our search tool includes
Your council tax is divided into different sections called “precepts”, imposed by different authorities, and they all increase at different rates.
We calculated our numbers using the increase in by far the largest part of your bill – your social welfare authority.
This is your county, metropolitan borough, London borough or unitary council, depending on where you live.
Our search tool has also been refined this year to include increases imposed by the Greater London Authority, which adds 8.8% to its share of bills.
So if you live in London, our tool should be a fairly accurate reflection of your tax hike – or at least what was proposed in February.
What our search tool does NOT include
Our search tool does not include to get up in the precept of parish councils, small district councils (if you are in a county council area), firefighters, Where police authorities outside of London.
Our final council tax forecast includes the precepts themselves – but only at last year’s rates, without the planned hike in April.
The reason we left out these additional boosts is that there are so many of them that it becomes extremely complex to include them in our search tool.
However, these precepts are quite small – so the incremental increase in each of them, on top of what our search tool says, is typically less than £20 per year for a D-band home.
Our figures also only apply to the counseling system England, not Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland.
What are the council leaders saying?
Shaun Davies of the Local Government Association warned that councils face a “tough choice” between hike bills or cut services.
‘The government continues to rely on councils’ tax collection powers to increase councils’ basic purchasing power,’ he told the Mirror.
Tim Oliver, chairman of the County Councils Network, said leaders had no choice in the face of a £700m government back hole.
“A large portion of these municipal tax increases will be used to fund vital social services for adults,” he said.
“County areas receive half of all of England’s social service claims, a challenge which has been exacerbated by demand and costs which have risen sharply during the pandemic.”
Yesterday the government announced its fourth temporary bailout for Transport for London, this time £200million to bring it to June.
Mayor Sadiq Khan accused the government of failing to invest in the capital, warning it would cut services if there was no U-turn.
Do I get a separate residence tax reduction?
Several groups may benefit from a reduction on the full rate of council tax or not pay it at all. They understand:
- Full-time students (100% discount)
- Armed Forces in Forces Accommodation (100% discount)
- People who have moved into a nursing home or hospital (100% discount)
- People living alone (25% reduction)
- Apprentices, student nurses, monks and nuns, carers (up to 50% off)
However, if you are part of a mixed household, you may have to pay the full rate. Use the government tool here to see if you are eligible.
I am a Council Officer or Councilor and have a question about numbers
Our numbers come from financial reports to Cabinet/Executive and Full Council meetings.
These figures may change late in the process, so if you think we need to update the figure for your area on our lookup tool, please email [email protected] with the line d “Council Tax” object.