Council Tax is a form of taxation levied on the occupation of domestic property in the UK. Council tax was brought in to replace the community charge in 1993 and it is paid by the occupier of domestic premises irrespective of whether they own the property or not. The community charge was brought in to replace the rates method of taxing property, and was introduced in Scotland in 1989 and in England and Wales in 1990. The system was such that every adult in a local authority would pay the same amount of tax and the rate of this would be set by the authority itself. The community charge was widely referred to as the poll tax, and it was found to be deeply unpopular, hence its replacement by the council tax in 1993. These various taxes on domestic property, together with business rates which are applied to the occupation of commercial premises are used to help to pay for services provided by local authorities. All domestic properties are categorized into one of eight council tax bands, depending on their market values. These valuations are not based on present day market prices, but are determined by April 1 1991 property values - an assessment of the amount of money the properties could have been expected to be sold for in 1991. Different levels of tax apply to each of the bands, with properties of higher value paying more tax than dwellings of a lower value in the same local authority. The lowest is band A and the highest is H, while D is usually considered to be the average band. The level of Council tax for band H is three times that for band A, and twice that for band D, while the latter is one and a half times that for band A. The actual council tax rates for each band are set by local authorities, and there are variations in the rates set by different authorities. This implies that for example a higher banded property in a particular area may pay about the same or even less than a lower banded property in another area.
Copyright (20007) council-tax.net