Council Tax Information Guide 2023-24
Council tax is your contribution to local services, including refuse collection and funding for the police and schools. The district council collects council tax from approximately 58,000 properties. Council tax levels are decided annually and funds are allocated towards services provided by:
- Chichester District Council
- Parish Councils
- Sussex Police Crime Commissioner
- West Sussex County Council
For further information on Chichester District Council spending, our annual report and annual statement of accounts, please visit our budgets, spending and performance webpage.
For adult social care authorities, council tax demand notices show two percentage changes:
- one for the part of the overall charge attributable to the adult social care precept, and
- one for the part attributable to general expenditure
Council tax online services
You can view and manage your own council tax account online using My account.
Using this facility allows you to view your own council tax account, including:
- notices, and
You can also advise us of any changes in your circumstances and set up a direct debit to pay your council tax. You can also opt to switch to paperless billing.
Council tax valuation bands
Most dwellings are subject to council tax. There is one bill per dwelling, whether it is a house, bungalow, flat, maisonette, mobile home or houseboat, and whether it is owned or rented.
Each dwelling is allocated to one of eight bands according to its open market capital value as at 1 April 1991. The bands are as follows:
|Valuation band||Range of property values|
|A||up to and including £40,000|
|B||£40,001 to £52,000|
|C||£52,001 to £68,000|
|D||£68,001 to £88,000|
|E||£88,001 to £120,000|
|F||£120,001 to £160,000|
|G||£160,001 to £320,000|
|H||more than £320,000|
Your bill shows which band applies to your dwelling and this will depend on the valuation of your property. The Valuation Office Agency (VOA) values domestic properties for council tax. This valuation is used to set your council tax band. You might need to contact the VOA if you think your council tax band is wrong.
Your council tax band
You can find out more about when you can challenge your band from the Valuation Office Agency website(Opens in a new window) . If you challenge your band, you must continue to pay your council tax at your current band until your appeal is decided.
Who has to pay council tax?
The person who should pay the council tax is normally the resident. There are specific rules that have to be followed when a council has to identify the liable person for council tax on a property.
There are a number of discounts available on occupied properties.
Single person discount
If you are the only adult resident and the property is your main home you may be entitled to a single person discount and your bill reduced by 25%.
Disregard discounts (status discounts)
People who are disregarded will not be counted towards the number of adults resident in the dwelling and will qualify for status discount.
Disabled persons relief (disabled band reduction)
If you, or someone who lives with you (adult or child) is disabled and changes have been made to your property to meet special needs arising from the disability, you may be entitled to a reduced bill. The relief tries to ensure that people with disabilities are not disadvantaged by having to pay more tax because of extra space needed. If you qualify for disabled band relief your bill will be reduced to that of a property in the band immediately below the band shown in the valuation list.
The Local Government Finance Act allows the council to award a discount from 0% up to 100% on all empty properties including second homes and properties undergoing or requiring major repair works which are not exempt attract a local discount of 0% and will be charged the full council tax. The rates of discount are agreed prior to each financial year.
Your council tax bill may be reduced in certain circumstances for annexes whether occupied or unoccupied.
Empty homes premium
An empty homes premium, in addition to the full council tax, may be charged by the council when a property has been unoccupied and substantially unfurnished for 2 years or more. The premium is charged at 100% for over 2 years, 200% for over 5 years, and 300% for over 10 years.
The Local Government Finance Act 2012 allows discretionary powers for local authorities in respect of council tax discounts (Section 13A 1c). This gives local authorities more freedom to vary discounts to take into account local circumstances (e.g. flooding) and individual circumstances. Reductions can be applied for individual cases or in exceptional circumstances the council may determine a class of tax payers. You should contact the taxation team for details of how to apply for a discretionary reduction.
Some dwellings are exempt, including certain properties that are occupied.
If a discount, exemption or premium has already been awarded or added to your account, the details are shown on your bill. If a discount, exemption or premium is shown on your bill and your circumstances change you must notify the taxation office immediately.
Council Tax liability and grounds for appeal
There are a number of decisions the council has to make when deciding whether you are liable to pay council tax and the amount you are due to pay. If you believe these decisions are wrong you are entitled to appeal against them. You can appeal if:
- you disagree with our decision that a dwelling is chargeable (i.e. you believe it should be exempt)
- you disagree with our decision that you are liable to pay council tax on a particular dwelling (i.e. that you are not the resident or owner)
- you disagree with certain aspects of the calculation (i.e. a discount has not been given or applied)
If you wish to appeal on any of the grounds above then you should make this appeal in writing, or by email quoting the council tax reference number that is shown on your bill, and explain what you disagree with. Making an appeal does not allow you to withhold payment of the council tax in the meantime. If your appeal is successful you will be entitled to a refund of any overpaid council tax.
The law allows councils to charge a penalty of £70 in certain circumstances:
- when you do not reply after we have asked for information about the person liable to pay the council tax
- when you do not tell us that your property is no longer exempt
- when you do not tell us that you are no longer entitled to a discount
In all of these cases, each time we ask you for the information and you do not provide it, you could be charged a further penalty of £280.00. Penalties can be added to your council tax bill, or we can send a separate bill. You can appeal against a penalty being imposed on you.
How you can pay your council tax and paying your council tax over 12 instalments
Requests to pay over 12 months must be received by the 25 March 2023 in order to start your new instalments in April 2023. If they are received after this deadline, the first instalment will be payable as notified on your bill. For requests received after 24 March 2022 the number of instalments will be 11 or the number of whole months remaining to March 2024. If you are already paying over 12 months then you do not need to make a new request.
Your right to pay by instalments may be withdrawn if any instalment is not received by the date shown on your bill. We may then ask for the full years balance to be paid.
Council Tax reduction and help with housing costs
We operate a council tax reduction scheme for low income households. The scheme offers a reduction in council tax based on the level of income and savings. The council produces its reduction scheme annually.
You can apply for council tax reduction if:
- you are named as the liable person on the bill
- you are on a low income
To assist with the increases in the costs of living, all council tax reduction claimants will receive an award of £25. If you are eligible this will show on your new bill as council tax support fund 2023/24. In addition to this all council tax reduction claimants of pension age will also receive an additional award of £25. This will be applied to all eligible households automatically throughout the year. Therefore if you are on a low income please make an application for council tax reduction scheme.
We have also launched our supporting you campaign and have a dedicated team available to assist you. The team can help access a wide range of assistance including financial help to pay bills, help with housing, and health and wellbeing support.
Chichester District Council spending
Chichester District Council manages your data in accordance with the provisions of the General Data Protection Regulations 2016 and is a public authority as defined within those regulations.