Council tax is a tax that every household pays. Council tax helps pay for local public services including the:
- Fire service
- 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 council spending 2015/16 booklet (PDF 1.9MB).
This year Central Bedfordshire Council will spend £186.5million delivering local services such as libraries, leisure, waste and recycling, roads maintenance, social care and public health – to name just a few.
The council has had to take into account some big pressures in developing its budget plans. In particular, our finances have been affected by ongoing reductions in public spending and a growing demand for care services especially those linked to an ageing population. These factors have contributed to us needing to make
£13.7m of savings for 2015/16.
The budget reflects the views of thousands of Central Bedfordshire residents who took part in this year’s Budget 2015 survey. The majority of people who took part said that they wanted the council to freeze its share of council tax, protect front line services and make savings by cutting overheads and running costs.
The 2015/16 budget will deliver these goals. This plan also includes capital and housing budgets to invest in services such as leisure, new and improved accommodation to help older people to live independently and improvements to the area’s roads.
There will be no increase in the Central Bedfordshire Council element of council tax, which for the average (Band D) household will remain at just over £25 per week.
How and where is the money spent?
- Adult Social Care Services - £63.7m including home and residential care for elderly residents or those with disabilities. Your money will help to modernise services so that the council can offer care in good surroundings and help people to live independently for longer with local help and support delivered alongside health services.
- Children’s Services – £44.2m including children’s centres, supporting educational attainment, child protection and support for children with special needs. Your money supports work to achieve the best for all Central Bedfordshire children whether that’s supporting school performance, helping young people’s early development, supporting disabled children and their families, protecting
children from harm or providing foster care.
- Regeneration and Business Support – £4.8m including planning, town centre development and countryside access. Your money supports work to make Central Bedfordshire a place where people choose to live, work and visit and where companies choose to invest. We do this by helping businesses
to grow, reinvigorating towns and developing infrastructure, including roads and broadband to attract investment and create jobs.
- Community Services – £36.4m including highways, waste and recycling, leisure, libraries and community protection. Your money supports our work to modernise services
and facilities to provide a better customer experience, attract more users and reduce running costs.
- Other services – £24.9m specialist services that work behind the scenes to keep the council running.
Your money funds support services including: customer contact teams, who are the first port of call
for residents’ queries; financial services that oversee spending and payments including council tax support and housing benefits; revenue services that collect council tax and business rates; legal services that support work to protect children and the public; committee and electoral services that underpin democracy and human resources services and information technology systems that drive many of our services.
- Central costs – £12.5m in addition to spending directly on services the council needs to set aside money to finance the capital programme.
- Public Health – Whilst not impacting on your council tax bill (as this is paid for by the Department of Health), we also spend £10m on services that help people make the right lifestyle choices and tackle issues such as smoking, drinking and obesity.
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 55KB).
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.