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Council Tax Frequently Asked Questions


What Does the Council Spend Its Money On?

For details of the Council budget and how the money is spent

Click here

What will be the increase in Council Tax for Flintshire residents in 2021?

A 3.45% Council Tax increase in April 2021 for Council budgets will provide the money the Council needs to bridge the gap between the funding it receives from Welsh Government and the budget needed to protect key local services for local people.

On top of this a further 0.50% will be added for our increased contributions to the North Wales Fire and Rescue Authority, Coroners Service and North Wales Economic Ambition Board. Council Tax from across the six counties of North Wales pays for these vital organisations.

You will also see an increase in your local Town or Community Council precept.

The final part of your bill is the precept for the Police and Crime Commissioner to help fund North Wales Police.

The two tables below demonstrate the percentage and monetary increases which can be expected based on an average Band D property.

Band D Charges

Analysis Band D

Does Flintshire charge a high Council Tax compared to other Welsh councils?

The Council Tax set by Flintshire County Council is not high compared to other Welsh Councils as demonstrated below.

Band D Comparison 2021/22

 Average Band D

 

Does Flintshire charge a high Council Tax compared to other English councils?

The Council Tax set by Flintshire County Council is not high compared to other English Councils.

In real terms, Flintshire’ s local Band D charge of £1,394.50 was still £199.50 lower than the average Band D charge for council run services across our near neighbours of Cheshire East, Cheshire West and Chester, Wirral, Halton, Knowsley and Shropshire as demonstrated below.

Band D Comparison 2021/22

What does my Council Tax pay for?

Council Tax is a local tax collected by councils in Wales and is based on the value of domestic property as set by the Valuation Office Agency.

Your Council Tax bill is made up of three separate charges – the charge being made by Flintshire County Council, the charge for North Wales Police, and the charge for your local town or community council.

Council Tax raises just 29% of the money the Council needs to pay for local services. The biggest part of our income 66% comes from Welsh Government in the form of a grant. The remaining 5% comes from the fees we charge for some services.

The Council Tax we collect is not a direct bill for the individual services provided by the Council but is pooled together to help pay for all the services we deliver.

Council Tax payers have to pay the amount of tax due for their property and cannot ask for a reduction or discount because they, or members of their family, are at a stage in their lives where they do not use some of the services provided by the Council.

Each year we provide a breakdown of where the Council's income comes from and how the money is spent.

To see the list click here

What do town and community councils do and why are they on my bill?

Town and Community Councils provide additional services, facilities and amenities on a local basis to the neighbourhoods they serve.

Town and Community Councils set a budget each year of how much they require to be funded through Council Tax. This is known as a Council Tax `precept` and is based on your property valuation band. Flintshire is responsible for collecting Council Tax on behalf of the 34 Town and Community Councils in the County.

The amount of ‘precept’ charged by your Town and Community Council is shown on your overall Council Tax bill. Flintshire County Council collects all tax owed and then pays your local Council its share.

Why is there a charge for The Police and Crime Commissioner on my bill?

It is the responsibility of the Police and Crime Commissioner for North Wales to provide an efficient and effective police service for the North Wales area. This includes working with the Police and Crime Panel to set a budget for North Wales Police. The Government provides the majority of the funding necessary to run Police services in North Wales. The rest is raised through Council Tax. This is known as a Council Tax ‘precept’ and is based on your property Valuation band.

Flintshire, along with the other five councils in North Wales, is responsible for collecting Council Tax on behalf of the Police and Crime Commissioner for North Wales.

The amount of ‘precept’ charged by the Police and Crime Commissioner is shown on your overall Council Tax bill. Flintshire County Council collects all tax owed and then pays the Police and Crime Commissioner its share.

Each year the Police and Crime Commissioner for North Wales publishes budget information about the spending plans of North Wales Police.

Click here for more information

Why is a Council Tax increase needed?

Flintshire has made £100m of savings over the past decade to make the council as efficient as possible and to shield front-line services from damaging budget cuts. This year, the council is planning to increase investment in schools and social services to keep up with the scale and complexity of demand for services.

The council is clear that annual rises in Council Tax of 5% or more are no longer acceptable. This year the council plan to contain the annual increase in Council Tax to under 4% in keeping with that line. This will amount to a weekly increase on a Band D property of about £1.00 a week.

Flintshire, like all councils, is heavily dependent on Governments to fund the public services properly after years of austerity and public sector cuts at the national level. The settlement proposed for local government by Welsh Government for 2021/22 will help the Council balance its budget but is barely sufficient for its needs.

As consistently reported, no new efficiencies of a large scale are possible. However, through prudent financial management the Council has still been able to capture further efficiencies of close to £2.0m to help balance the budget.

What can I do if I can't afford to pay Council Tax?

Council Tax payers on a low income and in receipt of welfare benefits including Universal Credit, may be entitled to some help towards paying Council Tax. This is called the Council Tax Reduction Scheme (CTRS). To see if you can get any help click here to use our benefits calculator.

If, having used the benefits calculator, you believe you may qualify, you can click here to submit an ‘on-line’ application for CTRS.

To help Council Tax payers budget around monthly payments, the Council can also offer instalments over 12 months instead of 10, or as many months that remain in the year up to March 2022. We also offer further flexible payment options including the opportunity to pay weekly or every 4 weeks.

If you want to change your method of payment, set up payments over 12 months, or need support making payments to your Council Tax, you can get in touch with the Council Tax team by telephone 01352 704848 or Email: local.taxation@flintshire.gov.uk.

Will there be another rise in Council Tax in April 2022?

The levels of Council Tax we need to set in future years will very much depend on the following factors:

  • the position UK Government decides to take on funding public services;
  • how much of its overall budget Welsh Government decides to pass on to local councils;
  • Unplanned expenditure required to meet the challenges of providing an effective response to the pandemic.

The more money local councils receive, the less likely it is we will see high rises in Council Tax.

Flintshire and all other councils in Wales need certainty over future budgets from governments.

Flintshire has not yet set Council Tax levels for 2022/23 onwards.

Why doesn't the Council chase those who don't pay their Council Tax on time - surely that would help to keep Council Tax increases down?

Figures published by the Welsh Government show that Flintshire County Council, with the support of local residents, is already one of the highest performing Council in Wales in its collection of Council Tax.

During 2020/21 more household have understandably had difficulty meeting their Council Tax payments. However, by reaching out to these households and supporting them with applications for Council Tax Reduction Support and making bespoke payment arrangements on a case by case basis.

We will continue to support these payers with their payments and we anticipate that we will eventually collect at least 98.7% of council taxes that are due in any given year- this is well above the current Welsh collection average of 97.8%.

In the financial year 2019/2020, the Council collected 97.9% of Council Tax in the year it fell due which is well above the national average collected across Wales in that year of 97.0%. This places placed Flintshire as the second highest performing Council in Wales.

We continue to work with residents by making it easier for residents to pay their bills and to access our services.

We do recognise that some households struggle to pay and would urge anyone who is finding it difficult to pay to always make early contact with the Council Tax Service on 01352 704848 or by visiting our website.

www.flintshire.gov.uk/counciltax

Why am I charged Council Tax to help support services I don't use?

Your Council Tax contributes to the full range of services we provide, other than Council Housing which is paid for by Council tenants through their rent.

Council Tax payers have to pay the amount of tax due for their property and cannot ask for a reduction or discount because they, or members of their family, are at a stage in their lives where they do not use some of the services provided by the Council.

Education and social care are examples of services which councils provide as an extension of the Welfare State. We all make our contribution to funding them, regardless of whether we engage these services on a personal basis.