The average band D council tax bill in England will rise by £80 this year, the Government has announced.
The average band D council tax bill in England for 2018/19 will cost £1,671, up 5.1% from £1,591 in 2017/18.
As we reported in December last year the Government is allowing authorities to increase council tax by an additional 1% without a local referendum – so they can now increase it by up to 3% rather than 2%.
But some authorities with social care responsibilities can add a 3% ‘precept’ meaning some could hike bills by up to 5.99% next month – without seeking voters’ approval. See our MSE Council tax bills may rise by almost 6% News story for more.
Average council tax bills in non-metropolitan areas, known as shire areas, will be the highest at £1,749, up by £86, whilst the average band D household in London will pay £1,405, an increase of £55 from 2017/18.
If you’re going to struggle to pay the increase, there are lots of ways you can manage your council tax payments – see below for full information.
For help cutting your bills, see our Council Tax Bands guide
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In England you can pay your bills over 12 months
Council tax payments are often made over 10 months, but in April 2013 the Government announced all councils in England must allow you to pay your council tax over 12 months.
If you live in England, contact your council and tell it you want to change to the 12 month payment option.
Full-time student? You shouldn’t be paying
If you’re a full-time student living alone or with other students you don’t need to pay council tax, no matter how many of you live together.
If you’re a full-time student living with a non-student, you’re disregarded, so the non-student is treated as though they live alone and can claim the 25% single person’s discount.
If you’re a full-time student living with more than one non-student, you’re still exempt, but because there are two non-students the house has to pay the full 100% charge.
Live alone? Get a 25% discount
If you live alone or are classed as the only adult in the home in England, Scotland or Wales, you may be eligible for a single person’s discount, meaning a 25% reduction.
Are you eligible for a ‘severe mental impairment’ discount?
If you live with someone medically certified as having a permanent condition that affects their intelligence and social functioning, eg, Alzheimer’s or severe learning difficulties you could be eligible for a 25% council tax discount.
This is because the person you live with is ‘disregarded for council tax purposes’ in England, Scotland and Wales. See our Council tax discounts for severe mental impairment guide for full information.
What does the Government say?
Communities Secretary Sajid Javid said: “Council tax in England is 7.6% lower in real terms than it was when we came to Government and we have introduced a legal right for local taxpayers to veto excessive increases.”