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Council tax explained

What is council tax?

It is the local taxpayer's contribution towards the cost of services provided.

It is an important part of the financing of local government. The present system was bought into effect from 1 April 1993 and replaced the Community Charges system.

It helps to pay for the spending of the local authorities in your area. The rest of the spending is provided by:

Council Tax is the local taxpayer's contribution towards the cost of services provided. Swale Borough Council collects it on behalf of Kent County Council, Kent Police and Crime Commissioner, Kent Fire and Rescue and the Town and Parish Councils, as well as the charge for its own services.

Find out more information on what services your council tax pays for on our what does council tax pay for page.

What council tax band is my property?

You can use our 'Find Your Nearest' service, simply put in your post code and select the council tax option.

Valuation bandings

Most properties will be subject to council tax. There will be one notice per property whether it is owned or rented. Properties include houses, bungalows, flats, maisonettes, mobile homes, holiday chalets and houseboats. Each property has been allocated to one of the following eight bands according to its open market value as at 1 April 1991.

Ranges of values Valuation band Monthly amount

Values not exceeding £40,000

Value £40,001 to £52,000

Value £52,001 to £68,000

Value £68,001 to £88,000

Value £88,001 to £120,000

Value £120,001 to £160,000

Value £160,001 to £320,000

Values exceeding £320,000

A

B

C

D

E

F

G

H

6/9

7/9

8/9

9/9

11/9

13/9

15/9

18/9

Right of appeal

You may appeal against the banding of your property under certain limited conditions.

Making an appeal does not allow you to withhold payment of council tax owing in the meantime. You may also appeal if you consider that you are not the liable person to pay council tax. More information is available from the Valuation Office Agency website.

Reporting changes of circumstances that may affect the award of a Council Tax exemption, discount, disregard or an award of Council Tax Support. 

A change in circumstances that may affect the award of a Council Tax exemption, discount, disregard or the award of Council Tax Support should be reported to the Revenues and Benefits section within 21 days of the change occurring. If it is not reported the Council may impose a penalty of £70. 

The law allows the Council to impose a £70 penalty on a customer who, without reasonable excuse*, fails to:

*reasonable excuse constitutes a ‘credible reason or justification’ and might include being in a situation of significant stress or suffering ill health; Ignorance of the Law is not a reasonable excuse for not complying with claim responsibilities. Therefore, simply saying ‘I didn’t know’ will not be considered as a reasonable excuse.

The offence is committed if a customer fails to notify the Revenues and Benefits Service of a change affecting their Council Tax liability within 21 days of the change occurring. 

Where a £70 penalty has been imposed and a further request to supply the same information is made, additional penalties of £280 may be imposed for each subsequent failure to provide the requested information, as long as:

Information can be requested from anyone who appears to be:

 

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