Since 2010, central government has offered grants to local authorities to freeze or cut Council Tax. Additionally, local authorities wishing to increase Council Tax by 2 per cent or more must seek the approval of their residents to do so through a referendum. The effects have been an end to the constant, above inflation increases of the preceding two decades.
The key findings of this research are:
- In 1996-7, the average band D Council Tax bill in England was £646. Today the figure is £1,484, a real terms increase of 58%.
- In real terms, the average band D Council Tax bill increased by 71.8 per cent between 1996-97 and 2010-11, and has fallen by 8% between 2010-11 and 2015-16, after the grant to freeze or cut Council Tax was introduced.
- Residents in Weymouth & Portland Borough Council pay the highest Council Tax in the UK - £1,756.44.
- Residents in Westminster City Council pay the lowest Council Tax in the UK -£674.16
- Between 1997-98 and 2010-11, there were a total of 4,471 individual Council Tax increases, but only 149 cuts and 161 freezes.
- Since 2010-11, there have been a total of 406 individual Council Tax increases, 203 cuts and 1,161 freezes.