Council Tax FAQs

Q1: Why has my Council Tax increased?
Q2: What will I get for my money?
Q3: Is there a discount if I pay my Council Tax in one lump sum?
Q4: Can I pay over 12 instalments?
Q5: Why have I got an Empty Home Premium?
Q6: Adult Social Care Precept
Q7: Spelthorne Borough Council increase


Q1: Why has my Council Tax increased?

After careful consideration the Council has decided to make a small increase in Council Tax in order to protect the Council's ability to provide services in the future.

Council tax bills have to follow a format set by law, and we appreciate that they are not always easy to understand.

The Surrey County Council percentage increases of 2.99% for general council tax and the 3.00% for the Adult Social Care Precept both relate to increases as a percentage of the overall Surrey Council bill for 2018-19. So these two percentages need to be added together to give an increase of 5.99% on the overall Surrey County Council Bill. The weighted average of the Surrey County Council elements combined along with the Police and Spelthorne Borough Council elements is a 5.53% increase.

A way of checking this is to compare the overall bills between the two years. The total Band D bill for 2017-18 was £1,748.56 and the total for 2018-19 is £1,845.30 which gives an increase of £96.74, or 5.53%.

Q2: What will I get for my money?

As a Borough Council, Spelthorne provides a wide range of services and benefits for individuals and the local community

These range from collecting rubbish, collecting materials for recycling, keeping streets clean, maintaining parks, operating two leisure centres in the Borough, working with the Police to improve community safety; performing a number of regulatory functions such as food inspections, building control, planning; provision of car parks; administering Housing Benefit and Council Tax support; operating day centres for the elderly; running Meals on Wheels and running the elections process for local and national elections in the Borough.

Q3: Is there a discount if I pay my Council Tax in one lump sum?

Lump sum discounts have been considered but are not financially viable as they have to be self financing. For information about other discounts and reductions available, please see the notes on the back of your Council Tax bill.

Q4: Can I pay over 12 instalments?

Yes, from the 1 April 2013, customers can request to pay over 12 months but your request must be received by 15 April.You can also pay annually, half yearly or quarterly by agreement. Please contact Customer Services to arrange payment.

Q5: Why have I got an Empty Home Premium?

From the 1 April 2013, the legislation related to empty properties was changed to allow Council's to vary the amount of Council Tax it charges on empty properties. Following on from public consultation, Spelthorne Council decided to charge a long term empty premium of 150% on properties that have been empty for more than two years.

Q6: Adult Social Care Precept

A growing pressure for councils with responsibilities for adult social care (which in Surrey is Surrey County Council) is the effect of an ageing population particularly those aged over 85 years old. In order to ensure that the responsible councils are able to respond to the rising numbers requiring support the Government allows those authorities to increase council tax by an additional 3% provided the additional funds raised are ring-fenced to be spent only on adult social care for example supporting people in care homes or to continue to live independently in their own homes.

Given the funding pressures Surrey County Council is facing it will be using this power and for a band D council tax this equates to an additional £39.95 on the council tax bill.

Q7: Spelthorne Borough Council increase

The Government in recognition of the funding pressures on district and borough councils has modified the rules limiting the size of council tax increases to allow district and borough councils to increase Band D council tax by up to the higher of 3% or £5 without the need to have a referendum on the increase.

The Council has considered very carefully the impact of applying an increase, and has decided that in order to protect its ability to provide services, it will apply a £5 increase which is equivalent to a 2.6% increase. A £5 increase on Band D equates to just under 10p extra per week.