Don't forget, waste collections will be a day later than usual all this week after the spring bank holiday.
Recycling and rubbish collection days are also changing for some households in Mendip and South Somerset. Read about the changes and how they may affect you.

Introduction

Your council tax pays for essential local services in your community such as schools, libraries, police and rubbish collection. Council tax is charged on all residential properties in England. One council tax bill is sent to each property, however many people live there.

Why has the Council had to increase your Council Tax?

Last year, the Council declared a financial emergency, we are one of many councils facing significant pressures on our finances driven by inflation, spiralling costs – notably in social care – and a ‘broken’ system for funding local government. Our ability to respond to this has been held back by a historically low Council Tax rate – 49th lowest out of 63 for unitary councils.

The cost of delivering our services, particularly social care, is increasing at a much faster rate than our income. This means we must consider every available option to plug our budget gap. This includes increasing fees, reducing operating costs, finding savings from across all areas and asking our city, town and parish councils to take on some of your more valued non-statutory services (the services we are not required to provide by law).

We have worked hard to close the gap and balance the budget for the coming year with the support from our city, town and parish councils and partners. But this has meant that we have had to look at a series of service reductions, efficiency savings and increases to fees and charges, which includes Council Tax.

We know that this comes as a further blow to our residents who rely on our services and are already struggling during a cost-of-living crisis, but Somerset Council has no choice but to raise Council Tax and consider severe reductions to public services.

More detail can be found in the Council’s budget setting papers from the council meeting on 20 February 2024, which are available on our website Somerset Council budget setting papers.

Council Tax bands

The amount of Council Tax you must pay depends on your property’s ‘valuation band’. These bands are set by the Valuation Office Agency based on how much your property was worth on 1 April 1991, not its current value. The lower the value of your home, the less you will normally pay.

You can check your Council Tax band on the GOV.UK website.

Council Tax charges

Your bill is made up of charges set by:

Your bill will show the percentage increases in the various charges from the charges for the previous financial year.

Document preview
Council Tax charges by band and parish 2024/25

PDF, 843KB

The Council Tax charge for Somerset Council

The Council Tax charged by Somerset Council is split into two parts, one to help fund the general costs of the Council and the other to specifically assist with funding the costs of Adult Social Care.

The Government have allowed councils to increase Council Tax by a maximum of 2.99% for general expenditure and an additional 2.0% for Adult Social Care.

The other authorities who levy a Council Tax charge (that is the Police, Fire and Parish, Town or City Councils) can also increase their charges. The Police are limited to a £13 increase and the Fire authority are limited to 3% for 2024/25. There is no limit on Parish, Town and City Councils. Details of the increases allowed for 2024/25 by Government can be found in The Referendums Relating to Council Tax Increases (Principles) (England) Report 2024-25 (publishing.service.gov.uk). The total amount you pay for your Council Tax bill can go up by more than 4.99%. This can happen even if Somerset Council sticks to the 4.99% limit set by the Government. Where this happens, it is because of the combined effect of the increase applied by other charging organisations, as detailed on your bill.

For the 2024/25 financial year the following amounts have been agreed by the Council for properties in Band D for Somerset Council. (Please note the amounts charged will vary depending on which band your property is in. Details of the amounts for other bands can be found in Council Tax charges by band and parish 2024/25.

Charge for 2024/25% increase
Somerset Council (for general expenditure)Charge for 2024/25£1498.80% increase2.99% (showing as 3.0% on your bill)
Adult Social CareCharge for 2024/25£229.38% increase2.00%
Total for Somerset CouncilCharge for 2024/25£1728.18% increase4.99% (showing as 5.0% on your bill)

The Adult Social Care Precept

With effect from the 2016/17 financial year, councils with adult social care responsibilities have been allowed to charge an additional amount of Council Tax specifically to help fund services in this area.

For the 2024/25 financial year we are allowed by Government to increase the adult social care element of the charge by up to a further 2% of the total amount of the Somerset Council element of the Council Tax. Which is the total of the amount for general expenditure plus the adult social care amount.

For adult social care authorities, Council Tax demand notices are required to show two percentage changes. One for the part of the overall change attributable to the adult social care charge, and one for the part attributable to general expenditure.

The percentage change that is shown on your bill for the adult social care charge represents the amount of the increase for the adult social care element of the charge, shown as a percentage of the total charge for Somerset Council (the charge for general expenditure plus the adult social care amount).

The Adult Social Care Precept for last year (2023/24) was £196.46 and for this year (2024/25) is £229.38 and has increased by £32.92. The increase of £32.92 is calculated as follows: the total Somerset Council charge for last year (£1,646.04) x 2% = £32.92 (Please note, the figures shown are based on a Band D charge).

The calculation of the percentage increase for the adult social care element of the charge is different from how the other percentage changes are calculated and can cause confusion. However, we are required by Government to show the percentage change in this way and this approach reflects how the amount of the increase is calculated.

Parish, Town and City Councils

Where a Parish, Town or City Council sets a budget of more than £140,000 a year, we must show details of their expenditure plans.

The parishes and town councils this applies to

  • Bridgwater
  • Bruton
  • Burnham on Sea and Highbridge
  • Castle Cary
  • Chard Town
  • Cheddar
  • Crewkerne Town
  • Frome
  • Glastonbury
  • Ilminster Town
  • Martock
  • Minehead
  • North Petherton
  • Shepton Mallet
  • Somerton
  • South Petherton
  • St Cuthbert Out
  • Street
  • Taunton
  • Watchet
  • Wellington
  • Wells
  • West Monkton
  • Williton
  • Wincanton Town
  • Yeovil Town

 

Parish Council contact details

How can I pay my Council Tax?

The payments you need to make will be detailed at the foot of your bill. Where you pay by direct debit you need to take no further action and the payments will be taken directly from your bank or building society account on the dates shown. You can find out more on our Pay your Council Tax page.

How we can lower your bill

We can reduce your council tax bill by awarding:

  • A discount – Your bill assumes there are at least two adults living in your home. If only one adult lives there, we can lower the council tax by 25%. Some people are not counted as living in a property for council tax purposes. This means if there is more than one adult living in your home, you could still get a discount.
  • An exemption – Some properties are free from Council Tax.
  • Council Tax Reduction – For people on low incomes.
  • A disabled persons band reduction because an adult or child living in the home needs to use a wheelchair indoors. They may also need a special room within the house because of their disability.
  • A discretionary Exceptional Hardship payment.

One or more of these reductions may apply to your home.

Council Tax premiums

Empty (unoccupied and substantially unfurnished) property may be subject to Council Tax premiums (additional charges) once they have been empty for a period of 12 months.

From 1 April 2025 Council Tax premiums will apply to second homes (furnished unoccupied properties).

Not paying Council Tax

If you are struggling to pay your Council Tax, please contact us as soon as possible. Find out more about Non-payment of Council Tax and the help and support available.

Last reviewed: May 14, 2024 by Daniel

Next review due: November 14, 2024

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