Council Tax increases 2024/25: how some can cut their bill

Council Tax increases 2024/25: how some can cut their bill

With most households set for a 5% Council Tax hike – and a minority facing a whopping 10% rise – we explain how some homeowners might actually be able to cut their Council Tax in 2024/2025.

lovemoney staff

Household money

lovemoney staff
Updated on 21 February 2024

Council Tax hikes 2024/2025 confirmed

Most households are facing another year of crippling Council Tax hikes, with a typical Band D property facing a £103 hike to their annual bills in 2024/2025. 

Of the 136 councils to have revealed their plans for the new financial year, 129 have confirmed their intention to hit taxpayers with an inflation-busting 4.99% hike.

Although that is the maximum-allowed increase, the situation is actually worse for residents of Birmingham, Slough, Woking and Thurrock: as these councils have declared bankruptcy, they've been given special permission to roll out bruising 10% increases.

Read: why incessant Council Tax hikes are unsustainable

Why does Council Tax keep soaring?

Essentially, councils feel little option but to maximise the income from Council Tax, with residents having to find the extra cash as a result.

As Sam Corcoran, vice-chairman of the County Councils Network, explains: "Authorities face a £1.1 billion budget shortfall over the next two years. 

"With Council Tax now accounting for two-thirds of the average county authority's funding, we have little choice but to take the difficult but necessary decision to raise Council Tax by 4.99% to continue to protect services and ward off the threat of financial insolvency in the future."

Below is a full breakdown of tax hikes planned by councils who have revealed their plans for the 2024/2025 financial year.

Council Tax is just one of many taxes – click here for our complete guide to cutting your tax bill, including Income Tax, Inheritance Tax, Capital Gains Tax and more.

  • Barking and Dagenham - 4.99%
  • Barnet - 4.98%
  • Barnsley - 4.99%
  • Bath and NE Somerset - 4.99%
  • Bedford - 4.99%
  • Bexley - 4.99%
  • Birmingham
  • Blackburn - 4.99%
  • Blackpool - 4.99%
  • Bolton
  • Bournemouth - 4.99%
  • Bracknell Forest - 4.99%
  • Bradford 4.99%
  • Brent 4.99%
  • Brighton and Hove 4.99%
  • Bristol 4.99%
  • Bromley 4.99%
  • Buckinghamshire 4.99%
  • Bury 4.99%
  • Calderdale 4.99%
  • Cambridgeshire 4.99%
  • Camden
  • Central Beds 4.99%
  • Cheshire East 4.99%
  • Cheshire West 4.99%
  • City of London
  • Cornwall 4.99%
  • Coventry 4.99%
  • Croydon 4.99%
  • Cumberland Council 4.99%
  • Darlington 4.99%
  • Derby 4.99%
  • Derbyshire 4.99%
  • Devon 4.99%
  • Doncaster 4.99%
  • Dorset 4.99%
  • Dudley 4.99%
  • Durham 4.99%
  • Ealing 4.99%
  • East Riding 4.99%
  • East Sussex 4.99%
  • Enfield 4.99%
  • Essex 4.99%
  • Gateshead
  • Gloucestershire 4.99%
  • Greenwich 4.99%
  • Hackney
  • Halton 4.99%
  • Hammersmith & Fulham 4.99%
  • Hampshire 4.99%
  • Haringey 4.99%
  • Harrow 4.99%
  • Hartlepool 2.99%
  • Havering 4.99%
  • Herefordshire 4.99%
  • Hertfordshire 4.99%
  • Hillingdon 4.99%
  • Houslow 4.99%
  • Hull 4.99%
  • Isle of Wight 4.99%
  • Isle of Scilly
  • Islington 4.99%
  • Kensington & Chelsea 4.99%
  • Kent 4.99%
  • Kingston Upon Thames 4.99%
  • Kirklees 4.99%
  • Knowsley 4.99%
  • Lambeth 4.99%
  • Lancashire 4.99%
  • Leeds 4.98%
  • Leicester 4.99%
  • Leicestershire 4.99%
  • Lewisham 4.99%
  • Lincolnshire 4.99%
  • Liverpool 4.99%
  • Luton 4.99%
  • Manchester 4.99%
  • Medway
  • Merton 4.99%
  • Midldesborough 4.99%
  • Milton Keynes 4.99%
  • Newcastle 4.99%
  • Newham(a) 4.99%
  • Norfolk 4.99%
  • North East Lincolnshire
  • North Lincolnshire
  • North Somerset 4.99%
  • North Tyneside 4.99%
  • North Yorkshire 4.99%
  • North Northamptonshire 4.99%
  • Northumberland 4.99%
  • Nottingham 4.99%
  • Nottinghamshire 4.84%
  • Oldham 4.99%
  • Oxfordshire 4.99%
  • Peterborough 4.99%
  • Plymouth 4.99%
  • Portsmouth 4.99%
  • Reading 4.99%
  • Redbridge 4.99%
  • Redcar and Cleveland 4.99%
  • Richmond
  • Rochdale 4.99%
  • Rotherham 3.5%
  • Rutland 4.99%
  • Salford 4.99%
  • Sandwell 4.99%
  • Sefton 4.99%
  • Sheffield
  • Shropshire 4.99%
  • Slough
  • Solihull 4.99%
  • Somerset 4.99%
  • South Gloucestershire 4.99%
  • South Tyneside 4.95%
  • Southampton 4.99%
  • Southend 4.99%
  • Southwalk 4.99%
  • St. Helens
  • Staffordshire 4.99%
  • Stockport 4.99%
  • Stockton-on-Tees
  • Stoke 4.99%
  • Suffolk 4.99%
  • Sunderland 4.99%
  • Surrey 4.99%
  • Sutton 4.99%
  • Swindon 4.99%
  • Tameside 4.99%
  • Telford and Wrekin 4.99%
  • Thurrock 7.99%
  • Torbay 4.75%
  • Tower Hamlets 4.99%
  • Trafford 4.99%
  • Wakefield 4.99%
  • Walsall 4.99%
  • Waltham Forest 4.99%
  • Wandsworth
  • Warrington 4.98%
  • Warwickshire 4.99%
  • West Berkshire 4.99%
  • West Northamptonshire 4.99%
  • West Sussex 4.99%
  • Westminster 4.99%
  • Westmorland and Furness 4.99%
  • Wigan 4.99%
  • Wiltshire 4.99%
  • Windsor and Maidenhead 4.99%
  • Wirral 4.99%
  • Wokingham
  • Wolverhampton 4.99%
  • Worcestershire 4.99%
  • York 4.99%

Thousands in the wrong Council Tax band

As if bruising hikes weren't bad enough, it's been revealed that many of us are being charged the wrong amount as well.

In fact, MoneySavingExpert reckons that up to 400,000 households in England and Scotland may be in the wrong tax band precisely because of the way the bands were calculated back in the early 1990s.

This can be an incredibly costly issue too; you might pay thousands of pounds more on the tax than you need to, without realising it and without having had any say.

It doesn’t have to be this way, though. MoneySavingExpert published a recent case study of a person who appealed against their tax band, and landed £7,100 in refunds, having been overpaying since 1996.

So how do you go about getting the money back if you’ve been wrongly charged?

Council tax bands: why they matter

The Council Tax system was established in 1993 when every property was placed in a valuation band. It replaced the old rates system based on the rental value of homes.

In England and Scotland, the bands range from A to H, with A being the cheapest, and are based on valuations made in 1991.

In Wales, the bands range from A-I, with A again being the cheapest and are based on valuations made in April 2003.

So properties in England, Wales and Scotland haven't been revalued in a pretty long time.

That means you may have moved into a different band without realising it, and as a result, you could be forking out more for your Council Tax than you should be.

What are your neighbours paying?

To establish whether you should be in a different valuation band, it's worth finding out how much your neighbours pay for their Council Tax – you may find that even though they live in a similar or identical house, they're paying a lot less than you.

We’re not suggesting you go knocking on your neighbour's door to investigate (not unless you want to of course).

All you need to do is go to the Council Tax Valuation List. Just enter your details and you'll find all the information about which Council Tax band you and your neighbours are in. It's that simple.

How to appeal your Council Tax band

If you do find you're in a higher band than many of your neighbours, it's worth contacting your local valuation office and challenging your Council Tax band.

In some cases, you can make what's known as a proposal – in other words, a formal application to have your band changed. (Note this is for England and Wales only. Taxpayers in Scotland should visit the Scottish Assessors).

You'll get a decision within two months. Either you will be moved into a different band, with your payments adjusted, or you'll be told why your band cannot be changed. 

If you're successful with your claim, the great thing is you'll be entitled to a refund of your overpayments from when you moved into the property.

However, if your claim isn't successful, you can still appeal to an independent valuation tribunal. You can find more information on this here.

The tribunal is free, but you must appeal the valuation office's decision within three months of it making that decision.

Discounts and exemptions

Even if your home is in the correct valuation band, there are other ways to get a discount on your Council Tax. But before you get too excited, there are strict criteria for assessing whether you're eligible.

For example, you might get a reduction if you or someone in your household is disabled.

What's more, if you're the only adult living in your home, you'll get 25% off your bill. It's worth bearing in mind that when you're working out how many adults are in your home, certain people won't be counted – such as students, who do not have to pay Council Tax.

So if you're living with a student, you will only have to pay Council Tax based on one adult living in the home.

If you have a second or holiday home, you will still need to pay Council Tax for it. But you can get a discount of up to 50%. You'll need to contact your council to find out if you can get a discount, and exactly how much they are willing to offer.

In some cases, you won't have to pay Council Tax at all, whether this is only for a short period, or indefinitely.

For example, if you're selling an empty property on behalf of someone who has died, you won't have to pay Council Tax for six months from the day you get probate.

Other homes don't get a Council Tax bill for as long as they are empty.

They include homes of someone in prison, those who have moved into a care home or hospital or those that cannot be lived in by law as they are derelict.

If you have been carrying out major home improvements on an empty property or building a new property, then you will also be able to avoid Council Tax for a while.

You'll get a 'completion notice' from your council which will tell you the date you must start paying again.

Council Tax Reduction

Council Tax Reduction replaced Council Tax Benefit in April 2013. It could reduce your bill by as much as 100%.

You may be eligible if you’re on a low income or claim benefits. Each council runs its own scheme, so the details vary by area.

What you get depends on things like your household income and how many children live with you.

Happy couple moving (Image: lovemoney - Shutterstock)

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