Briefing: increases in local authority sales, fees and charges

Local authorities raise revenue in several ways including council tax, grants from central government, and business rates. Some also fund services through sales, fees, and charges (SFC), including charges on essential services such as waste removal and birth, death, and marriage registrations (including proof of life documents).

Over time, taxpayers have seen huge increases in sales, fees, and charges for some services but little evidence of increasing service quality in these areas. Despite rising revenues from many charges, residents across the country have complained about services such as rubbish collection,[1],[2] street lighting,[3] and parking.[4]

This note reviews increases in sales, fees, and charges since 2010-11 by expenditure area. Revenue raised by SFC in these areas has increased in real terms, relative to the population and cost per house, showing that taxpayers are spending more than ever on sales, fees, and charges for some services.





[1] Slater, N., Derby City Council responds after it receives dozens of missed bins complaints, Derbyshire Live, 27 October 2023.

[2] Derbyshire, D & Sims, P., Not In My Front Yard: Now the recycling industry joins rebellion, Daily Mail, 30 August 2023.

[3] Briones, M., Future dim, after public convinces Qualicum Beach to dial down streetlights, Comox Valley Record, 16 October 2023.

[4] Carey, J., Brighton pavement parking sees over 1,700 complaints made to council in less than three years, Sussex Live, 25 September 2023.

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