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Calculating Council Tax

3 March 2017

The amount of council tax you pay depends on the value of your property and where you live.

Every property has been allocated to a band based on its value in April 1991. If your property was built after this date, it will have been given the national value it would have had in 1991. The band of the property is shown on your bill. If you have a query about the valuation band of your property, you need to contact the Valuation Office Agency.
 
The exact amount of your bill depends on the band your property has been allocated to and the different charges made by:
 
  • Essex County Council
  • Your District or Borough Council
  • Essex Police Authority
  • Essex Fire Authority

You may also receive a separately identifiable charge for your parish or town council.

The amounts of the Essex County Council element of your bill for 2017/18 are:

 

Band
Band
Amount (£'s)
A
Up to £40,000
775.80
B
£40,001 to £52,000
905.10
C
£52,001 to £68,000
1,034.40
D
£68,001 to £88,000
1,163.70
E
£88,001 to £120,000
1,422.30
F
£120,001 to £160,000
1,680.90
G
£160,001 to £320,000
1,939.50
H
More than £320,000
2,327.40

 

Your bill will be issued by your local district or borough council. It will show a full breakdown of your council tax charge and show how it is split between the constituent authorities. The District and Borough Council Tax Expenditure page contains more information about the amount charged by your District or Borough council.

How The Valuation Band Amount is Calculated

The first step in arriving at a charge per property is to calculate a tax base for every one of the twelve districts and boroughs within the Essex County Council area. This is calculated by the district and borough councils themselves and is achieved by multiplying the estimated number of properties within each band at the end of the financial year by the 'Band D Ratio' and adding the results together. This produces an equated tax base, i.e. as if all properties were in band D. The following table sets out a simple example of how a tax base for a District or Borough council would be calculated:

 

Table 2

 

 Band
Number of properties
Ratio to band D
Number of properties x band D ratio
A
90
6/9
60
B
90
7/9
70
C
90
8/9
80
D
90
9/9
90
E
90
11/9
110
F
90
13/9
130
G
90
15/9
150
H
90
18/9
180
Taxbase
870

 

The resultant band “D” equivalent tax bases for each District or Borough are then amalgamated to produce a single figure for Essex County Council:

 

Table 3

District / borough council
2017/18 taxbase
Basildon
59,466
Braintree
51,547
Brentwood
32,084
Castle Point
30,077
Chelmsford
64,395
Colchester
61,132
Epping Forest
53,029
Harlow
25,032
Maldon
23,869
Rochford
31,421
Tendring
45,860
Uttlesford
35,224
Total
513,135
 
 

The next step in the process is for us to calculate how much we need to raise from council tax. This will depend on how much we plan to spend on providing services to the people of Essex and how much of this will be supported by government grant and national business rates.

Of the total gross spend of £1.82 billion that we are budgeting to spend in 2017/18, we need to raise £597 million from council tax. This figure is then divided by the tax base of 513,135 to give a Band D council tax for Essex County Council of £1,163.70. Finally, this is multiplied by the band D ratio for each tax band to arrive at the Essex County Council charge for each property within the band. Please refer back to Table 1 for the 2017/18 charges for each band.

2017/18 Council tax increase

The Council has taken the tough decision to increase the Adult Social Care precept element of the Council Tax on a Band D property by 3 per cent to £1,163.70; this equates to an increase of under 65p per household per week. The increase allows councils with adult social care responsibilities to help meet the increasing demand for these services.
 

What is the 'Adult Social Care precept'?

In 2015 the government created the Adults Social Care Precept, which allowed Councils that provide Social Care to Adults to increase their share of Council Tax by up to an extra 2 per cent.
 
In 2016 they announced that for the 3 years from 2017/18 to 2019/20 Councils would be allowed to increase this by up to 3 per cent in any given year, but no more than 6 per cent in total over those years.

The Government has said that this precept must be shown as a separate charge on all council tax bills. The income generated from this charge is ring-fenced, meaning it can only be used for Adult Social Care services.

Adult Social Care services support some of the most vulnerable members of our communities, largely supporting those in old age and adults with disabilities. In 2017/18 our spending on services for this group is likely to exceed £524 million (approximately 42 per cent of our gross expenditure excluding schools).

How do we ensure this precept is spent on Adult Social Care?

As part of the process of setting our budget the Chief Finance Officer is required to confirm to Central Government that we will use the ‘Adult Social Care precept’ and that the budget for Adult Social Care has increased from what it would otherwise have been by at least the amount raised from this ‘precept’.
 
In 2017/18 the Adult Social Care precept will raise Essex County Council an additional £17 million. We have estimated that the costs of growth in the population and of inflationary increases to Adult Social Care service delivery will cost Essex County Council an additional £47 million in 2017/18.