Council Tax explanatory notes

Council Tax Valuation Bands

The valuation of dwellings is carried out by the Valuation Office Agency. Each dwelling has been allocated one of the valuation bands according to its open market value at 1 April 1991.

Valuation band Range of values
A Up to and including £40,000
B £40,001 - £52,000
C £52,001 - £68,000
D £68,001 - £88,000
E £88,001 - £120,000
F £120,001 - £160,000
G £160,001 - £320,000
H More than £320,000

 

Appealing against a Band

You can look up your council tax band online, and check if you can request a review, by selecting ‘council tax’ on Valuation Office Agency (VOA) website. You can contact the VOA online or call 03000 501 501. Lines are open Monday to Friday, 9:30am to 2:30pm. If you don’t agree with the banding, you have limited rights of appeal.

Making an appeal does not allow you to withhold payment of Council Tax in the meantime as recovery action will continue. If your appeal is successful the VOA will tell us of the change direct and you will be entitled to a full refund of overpaid Council Tax.

Exemptions

Some dwellings are exempt from Council Tax, including properties occupied only by students, members of a visiting force, diplomats and members of international organisations, persons under 18 years, persons who are severely mentally impaired, annexes occupied by elderly or disabled family members and certain vacant dwellings. Full details can be found at Council Tax exemptions.

Discounts and disregards

If you are the sole adult resident in a property, the Council can reduce your bill by 25%. When calculating how many adults are resident the following persons are disregarded:

  • Full time students, student nurses, apprentices and Youth Training Trainees
  • Permanent care home or hospital residents
  • People who are severely mentally impaired
  • People in certain hostels or night shelters
  • People for whom child benefit is being paid
  • 18 and 19 years old who have just left school
  • Carers, working for low pay or caring for someone with a disability who is not a spouse partner or child under 18
  • Members of visiting forces and certain international headquarters
  • Members of religious communities
  • People in prison or detained under the Mental Health Act

Where all residents are disregarded a 50% discount will be granted.

If your bill indicates that a discount has been allowed, you must advise us of any change of circumstances that affects your entitlement to that discount within 21 days. If you fail to do so you may be required to pay a penalty and /or be subject to prosecution.

Second homes/empty properties/holiday homes

There is no discount for second homes (furnished properties that are not used as a main residence), holiday homes, properties left vacant, or empty properties that require repair. A 50% discount is awarded where a second home is defined in legislation as a job-related property.

Empty Homes Premium

Where a property has been empty and unfurnished for two years it is charged a 100% Council Tax premium, which is raised to 200% after five years. Empty annexes and homes owned by members of the armed services are excluded from the premium.

People with disabilities

If you, or someone who lives with you, need a room or an extra bathroom or kitchen or use a wheelchair within your property to meet special needs arising from a disability you may be entitled to a reduced Council Tax bill. If you qualify you will be billed at a band lower than the band your property is actually in. The reduction for a band A is 1/9th of the band D charge.

Section 13a discounts

Under section 13A of the Local Government Act 1992 the Council may reduce the amount of tax you are required to pay. The Council may reduce the Council Tax in an individual case or in a class of cases where national discounts and exemptions do not apply.

Annexes

Annexes used by family members, or as part of your main home, qualify for a 50% discount.

Appeals

You can appeal against the Council’s decision that you are liable for Council Tax; if you think a property should be exempt; if you think you should have a discount or if the Council has made a mistake calculating your entitlement to the Council Tax Reduction Scheme.

Council Tax Reduction Scheme

This is financial assistance to help pay your Council Tax. It is there to help households on a low income. Whether you qualify will depend upon your personal circumstances. When the Council calculates your entitlement, we will take into consideration the household’s income, savings and the size of your family. To apply see Council Tax Reduction.

If you qualify for a discount under our reduction scheme you must advise the council within 21 days of any changes in circumstances that may affect your entitlement (eg a change in household income). Failure to advise the council may result in a penalty and/or prosecution.
Instalments.

Council Tax instalments are normally paid over ten instalments from April to January. However, if you wish to request twelve monthly instalments until March please contact us upon receipt of your bill. Please note that in some circumstances where your account is in arrears, we may not be able to offer this facility immediately

Instalments

Council Tax instalments are normally paid over ten instalments from April to January. However, if you wish to request twelve monthly instalments until March please contact us upon receipt of your bill. Please note that in some circumstances where your account is in arrears, we may not be able to offer this facility immediately.

Online help

You can tell the Council about a change in address, claim reductions and find further guidance on our Council Tax pages.

Adult Social Care

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 for 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.

Budgetary Information

See Budgetary information for West Northants Council.

For details on how the Policing and Fire part of your Council Tax is spent please visit the Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner's website.

Please contact us if you would like details where to obtain paper copies of this information.

Please note that these notes comprise part of your Council Tax Demand Notice