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 notional 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 City, 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 banding valuations are shown below in table 1.
||Up to £40,000|
||£40,001 to £52,000|
||£52,001 to £68,000|
||£68,001 to £88,000|
||£88,001 to £120,000|
||£120,001 to £160,000|
||£160,001 to £320,000|
||More than £320,000|
Your bill will be issued by your local City, 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 City, District or Borough Council Tax Expenditure page contains more information about the amount charged by your City, 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 city, district and borough councils within the Essex County Council area. This is calculated by the city, 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. Table 2 sets out a simple example of how a tax base for a City, District or Borough council would be calculated:
The resultant band “D” equivalent tax bases for each District or Borough are then amalgamated to produce a single figure for Essex County Council. The 2019/20 taxbase can be seen below in Table 3.
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 grants, business rates and other income i.e. fees and charges.
Of the total gross spend of £2.5 billion what we are budgeting to spend in 2019/20, we need to raise £671 million from council tax. This figure is then divided by the tax base of 528,411 to give a Band D council tax for Essex County Council of £1,270.44.
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.
2019/20 Council tax increase
The Council has set the 2019/20 budget against a backdrop of significant reductions in central government funding, price increase, population growth and increasing demand for services, particularly social care. Given these pressures, the council has decided to utilise the 1% Adult Social Care precept offered by the government and increase in general council tax by 2.99%
The amount of Council Tax payable for each property band for Essex County Council services in 2019/20 is shown in Table 4 below. The amount includes an element (or precept) to fund Adult Social Care (ASC).
Note: The Adult Social Care precept (£90.81 for Band D) combines the amounts charged in 2016/17 (£21.78), 2017/18 (£33.57), 2018/19 (£23.31) and the 2019/20 charge (£12.15). The 2019/20 uplift to the ASC precept (1%) is based on the 2018/19 total Council Tax charge (£1,221.75).
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%.
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% in any given year, but no more than 6% 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 2019/20 our spending on services for this group is likely to exceed £596 million.
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.
The 1% increase will yield an estimated £6 million in 2019/20, this will be used to insulate Adult Social Care from the savings required across other portfolios within Essex County Council.