Spending and Council Tax

How we fund our services and calculate Council Tax

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What Council Tax pays for

Your Council Tax funds a number of different organisations, and can vary depending on who provides local services where you live. This will normally be broken down for you on your Council Tax bill.

Council Tax pays for:

  • Essex County Council
  • your district, borough or city council
  • Essex Police
  • Essex Fire County Fire and Rescue Service
  • your parish or town council (if you have one)

Alongside Council Tax, we raise money through business rates, government grants and commercial services we provide. You can see how this money is spent in the tables below.

We will receive in 2023 to 2024 £m
Income and grants 1,282.7
Council Tax 799
Revenue Support Grant 21.3
Business rates 185.5
Collection fund surplus 5.4
We will spend in 2023 to 2024 £m
Adult Social Care 740.5
Education Excellence, Lifelong Learning and Employability 595.2
Children's Services and Early Years 283.4
Highways Maintenance and Sustainable Transport 143.1
Waste Reduction and Recycling 96.7
Public Health 69.3
Other, which includes services such as Libraries, Coroners, Registrars and Country Parks 365.7

2023 to 2024 Council Tax increase

There is always a balance between investing in and protecting services and asking people to pay a little more.

This year, we are increasing Council Tax by a total of 3.5%.

This is made up of:

  • a 1.5% general council tax precept
  • a 2% adult social care precept as set out by the government

The precept is being used to insulate Adult Social Care from higher savings, and support growth in demographics and inflation.

Information for bill payers

The legal option to use the adult social care precept is included in the offer from the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government on the legislation.gov.uk website.

In relation to the year beginning in 2020 and any subsequent year, the following statement applies:

The Secretary of State made an offer to adult social care authorities. (“Adult social care authorities” are local authorities which have functions under Part 1 of the Care Act 2014, namely county councils in England, district councils for an area in England for which there is no county council, London borough councils, the Common Council of the City of London and the Council of the Isles of Scilly.)

The offer was the option of an adult social care authority being able to charge an additional “precept” on its council tax without holding a referendum, to assist the authority in meeting its expenditure on adult social care from the financial year 2016-17. It was originally made in respect of the financial years up to and including 2019-20. If the Secretary of State chooses to renew this offer in respect of a particular financial year, this is subject to the approval of the House of Commons.”

More information

You can find out more in our 2023 to 2024 Council Tax information leaflet (PDF, 4.61MB).