Responding to COVID-19: insight, support and guidance

Average council tax in England exceeds £2,000 in two regions

12-03-2021

The typical council tax bill for an average band D property in the North East and South West of England is set to exceed £2,000 a year for the first time, according to research from CIPFA, the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy.

Across England as a whole, the typical council tax bill is set to rise by £78.31, or 4.3%, in 2021/22, CIPFA's annual council tax survey found.

Regional variation in the percentage increase on 2020/21 council tax bills is notable, with a difference of 2 percentage points between the highest increases in Inner London (5.5%) and the lowest (3.5%) in the East of England.

Rob Whiteman, CIPFA CEO, said:

"The stark contrast between the levels by which different regions are raising their council tax is indicative of the difficult political position created for them by central government.

"The COVID crisis has increased demand on services, and those demands need to be met with funding. Making an increase in local authority spending power contingent on council tax is regressive, putting even more pressure on those taxpayers least able to withstand it.

"A fair funding solution for local government, including the devolution of fiscal powers to address funding gaps locally, is sorely needed if councils are to continue delivering the services that have gotten us through the last year."

ENDS

Notes to editors:

  • Council tax data for England and Wales
  • Council tax bands are set centrally both in England and Wales. Bands range from A to H in England and I in Wales. Properties with the highest values attract up to three times as much tax as those with the lowest values. Regional differences in property prices mean that the North East will have a larger number of properties below band D than greater London.
  • Band D properties are used as the typical value as they act as the baseline figure from which other bands are calculated.
  • The data shows annual council tax for a band D property. In different areas, there will be a different distribution of housing stock in different bands. The figure is for an average band D property, not an average householder.
  • CIPFA's Council Tax Survey was based on 290 responses to questionnaires sent to authorities in England and Wales – a 66% response rate (both billing and precepting).
  • Of the 290 respondents from England, all but 13 will be increasing their council tax.
  • The typical council bill in Wales is set to increase by 3.9%, or £64.58.

Council tax referendum rules

Councils in England can increase tax rates in 2021/22 as set by central government. For district councils, this is up to 2%. For those with responsibility for adult social care this is up to 5% before a referendum is called. This includes up to 3% for the adult social care precept. Full details can be found here.

About CIPFA

CIPFA, the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy, is the professional body for people in public finance. CIPFA shows the way in public finance globally, standing up for sound public financial management and good governance around the world as the leading commentator on managing and accounting for public money.