Council tax (PDF 740KB) is a tax that every household pays. Council tax helps pay for local public services including the:
services provided by Central Bedfordshire Council (such as bin collection, road maintenance, libraries and social care)
services provided by your local Town or Parish Council
Every year council tax is recalculated and you receive a new bill in March.
You pay council tax if you are living in the property as your main home, and you are at least 18 years old. If there is more than one person living in the property, the resident who comes first on the list below will be liable for council tax:
- the owner
- the leaseholder
- a statutory or secure tenant
- someone with a contractual license
- someone resident in the dwelling
If two or more people have the same interest in the property, then they are all responsible for the council tax charge. For example, if you occupy a property with a joint tenant, you will both be liable for the council tax. Couples who live in the same property are also treated as jointly liable.
In some circumstances, an owner must pay the council tax charge instead. This happens if:
- nobody is resident in the property or holds a tenancy for the property
- the property is a house in multiple occupation (HMO) - this means that it is occupied by more than one household living separately
- the occupier is employed in domestic service to the owner
- a Minister of Religion lives and works in the property
- the property is a residential home
- the property is occupied by a Religious Community
You can read the full details of what we spend your money on in our Budget 2014-2015 booklet (PDF 740KB). You will receive this with your council tax bill. Alternatively, you can also watch our Budget 2014-2015 film on YouTube.
We have a four year financial plan. This is informed by three critical factors:
- rigorous assessment of the council's future funding
- realistic projections of demand for our services, taking into account the pressures we face as a result of changes to the population
- feedback from residents about their priorities
Through a public consultation exercise conducted earlier in the year, we know that 70% of the people who took part felt the council should continue to freeze council tax and avoid reductions to current services as much as possible. This feedback has influenced our budget decisions.
This year's budget will deliver investment of £186 million, in services as diverse as:
- fostering and adoption
- roads maintenance
- social care
- waste management
This represents an average weekly charge of £25 * per household.
How and where is the money spent?
- £63m on Adult Social Care, Health and Housing Services (including residential and home care for elderly residents or those with disabilities). For an average household*, £11.05 of the weekly council tax charge is spent of these services.
- £45m on Services for Children (including children's centres, supporting educational attainment and protecting those who are vulnerable and in need). This works out at around £7.84 per week per household
- £34m on Community Services (including waste, leisure and highways). This works our to a weekly charge of around £5.96 per household
- Other front line services (including planning, regeneration, countryside access and public health) together with running costs, account for the rest of the council's spending.
Savings are to be made from re-negotiated contracts, income generation, use of technology and transforming how we deliver services.
* The average charge is calculated on the Band D council tax, relating only to Central Bedfordshire Council. Other organisations, such as Town and Parish Councils, Bedfordshire and Luton Combined Fire Authority and Bedfordshire Police, can also levy council tax charges independently from Central Bedfordshire Council.
We will send you a new council tax bill in March. You could get a bill at other times in the year, if you move or if you have a change of circumstances which affects the amount you have to pay.
If you want to check the amount of council tax you pay, you'll need to know two things:
- the valuation band for your home - this is based on its value at 1 April 1991
- which Town or Parish (PDF 1.5MB) you live in
Once you know this, you can check your annual council tax bill (PDF 59KB).
This shows the breakdown for:
- every Town and Parish in Central Bedfordshire
- council tax bands - shown from lowest to highest charge (A to H)
What does the council tax bill show?
Your annual council tax bill will usually be divided into ten monthly instalments from April to January of the following year. If we have to adjust your council tax partway through the year, we will divide your bill over the remaining instalments.
Your council tax bill will tell you:
- the names of the person or people who are liable for council tax
- the address of the property we are charging you for
- the valuation band of your property
- the annual charge for your property
- the period we are charging you for
- any benefit, discounts or payments which we have deducted from your bill
- the amount you have to pay
- how we expect you to pay your council tax instalments
Want to know more?
Our council tax charges and bands page gives more details on how your bill is worked out.