Millions of hard-up families will be hit with an inflation-busting council tax rise of up to 6% this April.
Almost every household in England will be sent a higher bill by town halls – who say Tory cuts leave them with no other option.
There have been dramatic claims you’ll pay £100 a month extra.
But this is just an estimate. In fact, council tax changes depending on where you live and how big your house is.
So we’ve put together an interactive guide to exactly how hard YOU’LL be hit this year.
Simply enter your postcode and the band your home is in below (this should be on last year’s bill), and our tool will calculate the size of the rise you are facing.
How we got our figures
We compiled our figures by digging into hundreds of council finance reports, which recommend the final rate councillors will decide whether to pass in February and March 2018.
They’re a better guide than any figures you’ve seen so far, which don’t show exactly which rates are going up where.
At the latest update, three councils still hadn’t confirmed their proposed increase:
- North Lincolnshire
- Kensington and Chelsea
If you live in one of these three areas, you will only see "TBC" next to where it shows the proposed rise.
Please note – rises can change at the last minute because these are just the ‘recommended’ rates. We last updated our research on Monday 19 February.
What ISN’T included in our calculator?
The rise in our calculator is based on the change for the council for your area that’s responsible for social care.
That means it does not include separate rises for police, firefighters, and if you’re in a rural area or the capital, other councils that cover your area at the same time. These other councils are the Greater London Authority (GLA), District Councils, and Parish Councils.
However, these separate rises tend to be very small. This year annual bills are going up by around £12 extra for police, for example, and £14.20 for the GLA.
So your final increase will be higher than in our tool, but it shouldn’t be enough to lose sleep over.
Our widget also doesn’t include Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland, who calculate rises separately.
If you’re a council officer and want to tell us about an update, e-mail [email protected] with the subject ‘Council tax tool’.
Why councils are ‘on the edge’
We did our research after a devastating survey of town halls showed they are "perilously close to the edge" following years of swingeing cuts.
On top of the huge rises, more than 90% of councils are considering hiking fees for vital services like garden waste collection, meals on wheels, burials and planning applications.
And police forces are being forced to impose the £12 maximum possible ‘precept’, which comes on top of any normal rise, just to keep pace with inflation.
Under Tory plans, the only way police forces can get their hands on £270million of extra cash is by imposing the maximum council tax precept.
Local Government Association chairman Lord Porter – who is a Tory peer – said councils are being "pushed perilously close to the financial edge."
He added: "Many will have to make tough decisions about which services have to be scaled back or stopped altogether to plug funding gaps.
“Extra council tax raising powers will helpfully give some councils the option to raise some extra income but will not bring in enough to completely ease the financial pressure they face.
“This means many councils face having to ask residents to pay more council tax while offering fewer services as a result."
It comes after Local Government Secretary Sajid Javid gave councils in England the green light to increase bills by as much as 2.99%, instead of 1.99%.
Authorities that provide social care can also impose a precept of up to 3% – making a total rise of 5.99%. This is almost double the rate of inflation.
Today a major report reveals council tax will be hiked by nearly all English local authorities as a vast majority fear for their financial stability.
More than two thirds of councils plan to raise council tax by at least 2.5%, the survey reveals.
A 6% rise would take the average annual cost for a typical property nationally up £95, to £1,686.
How council tax will soar from April 2018
*These are the average rates in 2017/18 for each band in the UK, and what level they will hit in 2018/19 if they rose by the maximum 6%. Actual bills vary greatly from council to council.
BAND – 2017/18 rate – Possible 2018/19 rate
Band A – £1,061 – £1,137
Band B – £1,237 – £1,323
Band C – £1,414 – £1,511
Band D – £1,591 – £1,698
Band E – £1,945 – £2,074
Band F – £2,298 – £2,448
Band G – £2,652 – £2,823
Band H – £3,182 – £3,385
Nearly all councils (95%) plan to increase council tax while 93% will hike charges to make ends meet, the 2018 State of Local Government Finance research conducted by the LGiU think tank and The Municipal Journal found.
Jonathan Carr-West, chief executive of LGiU, said: “Councils are on the edge.
"They are for the most part holding services together (though a significant minority are not).
"But they can only do this this by raising council tax, increasing charging and draining their reserves.
“The system is unsustainable and needs far more fundamental reform than is presently on offer. It’s simply not acceptable that we don’t know how local government will work post 2020.
“Councils are calling for assurances around funding for the next three years and for a fundamental redesign of the finance system. At present government is offering neither. That has to change.”