What Is The Council Tax In Woking?
Woking is a Shire District with nearly 43,095 domestic properties. Through this blog post, we will discuss the details of council tax bands in Woking as well as the eligibility criteria for council tax reduction as well as an exemption. In the end, we will consider estimates about the future of council tax rates across the UK.
What Is The Council Tax In Woking?
With a median tax band D assigned to domestic properties in Woking, the average council tax rate is £1,855.95
Council tax bands in Woking are assigned in the same manner as other councils across the UK, with council tax bands running across A to H in ascending order of value.
Below is a detailed description of council tax bands in Woking:
|Council Tax Band||Amount of Council Tax|
Woking Borough, which comes under the Surrey County, experienced a 2 per cent increase in precept in 2021-2022 over the past year. Meanwhile, the overall precept in Surrey County Council increased by 2.5 per cent; which includes a 0.5 per cent increase for social care funds.
Council tax revenues are used to finance various community-based projects. Below is a list of some of the projects that are currently part of Woking Borough Council:
- Greenfield School: loan to support the provision of additional school places
- Improvements to council housing stock
- Poole Road Energy Centre: a new energy centre
- Strategic commercial investments
- Sheerwater Regeneration Scheme
- Town Centre Infrastructure: highway improvements
- Victoria Square: a regeneration project to construct new residential properties, hotel and retail space
- Victoria Arch and Integrated SouthSide Works: highway improvements
- Woking Football Club Development: loan to provide new community stadium and housing
Residents of Woking can conveniently view and pay their council tax bills through direct debit, debit or credit cards on the Woking Council website.
Why Is Council Tax High For Some Residents?
The reason why certain domestic property dwellers find council tax to be high may be due to the fact that the amount due on individuals for this property based tax is calculated according to the market value of one’s property and the consequent valuation band assigned to it.
The Valuation Office Agency (VOA) initially assessed the market value of properties according to their worth in 1991 (this is a uniform practice across the UK) to assign them a valuation band.
There are eight bands that run across A to H, with Band A assigned to properties with the lowest value and increasing up to Band H for properties with higher values. It is on the basis of this assigned band, that the amount of council tax is decided. Therefore, the higher the valuation band, the higher the council tax payments.
Below is a detailed classification of council tax rates according to their valuation bands:
|Council Tax Band||Property Value|
|A||Up to £40,000|
|B||Over £44,000 and up to £52,000|
|C||Over £52,000 and up to £68,000|
|D||Over £68,000 and up to £88,000|
|E||Over £88,000 and up to £120,000|
|F||Over £120,000 and up to £160,000|
|G||Over £160,000 and up to £320,000|
In addition to a property’s value, the Valuation Office Agency considers the following factors when assessing a property for valuation purposes:
- purpose or use
Can I Avail Council Tax Reduction?
Whether residents own or rent their homes, they may qualify for a council tax reduction in their bill, if they meet any of the following criteria:
- living alone: regardless of financial circumstances, living alone is enough reason to avail of a 25 per cent discount as council tax rates are established on the assumption that each house will comprise of two adults.
- living with a full-time student: full-time students and student nurses are exempt from council tax bills. Sharing a residence with them qualifies you for a discount.
- living with someone below 18 years of age: since council taxes are applicable on adults, anyone below the age of 18 does not qualify to be counted as a member of the shared household where council tax is levied.
- being a carer: while there are additional criteria to be considered her, being a carer for another member of the household for at least 35 hours per week qualifies the individual for a CTR.
- changes in home value: if there is a change in the surroundings of your residential property causing a full-time decrease in its value, the council tax band may be lowered by a valuation expert, enabling you to enter a lower band with reduced council tax bills due.
- the desired mode of payment: while council tax payments are spread over 10 monthly instalments, should you require a change such as 12-month instalments, it will reduce the monthly amount to be paid. On the other hand, should you prefer to pay the annual amount in a lump sum, a bulk payment may also qualify you for a discount.
Can I Get Exemption From Council Tax?
To be able to claim eligibility for exemption council tax payments, claimants must be able to fulfil the following criteria:
- the owner does not live in the said property and lives in a care home
- the owner is receiving hospital care at a medical facility
- the owner/tenant is temporarily living elsewhere to take care of someone
- the owner/tenant is in the armed forces and is stationed away from the premises at times
- the owner/tenant is serving jail time in prison (not for non-payment of council tax bills)
- the said property is/was registered by a charity and is not used for residential purposes
- the said property is an extension/annexe of single property
- properties that have been repossessed
- properties that are purchased to be demolished
If an individual fulfils any of these criteria, they must contact their local council office and raise an appeal for council tax exemption.
Are Occupied Properties Exempt From Council Tax?
An occupied property may be exempted from council tax payments under the following conditions:
- the visiting accommodation of a member of the armed forces
- the Ministry of Defence barracks
- part of another property; residents of whom are elderly or disabled relatives of those living in the said premises
- student hall of residence
- the residents are foreign diplomats
Do You Have To Pay Council Tax Every Month?
Yes, council tax bills are paid through monthly instalments that range between the months of April to January.
Council tax is based upon the valuation band that a property is categorized under by the local council and Valuation Office Agency. While the local council may assign an annual bill in April, the annual tax is spread over 10 monthly instalments to make payments convenient for individuals as well as to account for any desirable changes such as inflation rates.
If an individual is unable to afford their monthly council tax instalment or would require a relief, they may request to have the annual bill be spread over 12 monthly instalments versus the usual 10 instalments. This reduces the per month average due to which the due amount is decreased.
In terms of mode of payment, local councils may accept weekly or fortnightly payments as well. Generally, a discount may be availed if the payee chooses to pay the entire annual tax bill in advance.
Who Has to Make Council Tax Payments?
Any individual, over the age of 18 years, whether a homeowner or tenant, employed or unemployed, is eligible to pay their council tax bills to the local council office. This is an annual tax; spread across 10 monthly instalments between April and January with February and March considered as tax holiday months.
Usually, one person is considered the prime point of contact and the one considered as “liable” to pay council tax bills. To qualify for this, the said occupant must be above 18 years of age. Couples sharing premises are jointly liable for their council tax bills; however, anyone of them may be listed to be considered as liable for payments.
In the case of a rented property, it is the tenant who is liable to pay council tax. However, should any of the following situations occur, the liability becomes extended towards the owner:
- all the occupants are under 18 years of age
- the occupants are asylum seekers
- the occupants are multiple households/ couples/ individuals co-sharing the rent and premises
- the property is a second home or holiday home and the residents have a main home elsewhere
- the property is a care home or refugee shelter
Will Council Tax Rise In 2022?
Yes, as per estimates of the Institute for Fiscal Studies that appeared in Council Tax set to rise by £100 and Council tax could rise by £220, council tax is expected to rise by a minimum of 3.5 per cent or £100 annually over the next three years. This is, however, the minimum estimate as the rates could go up to the maximum ceiling of a 5 per cent rise.
The main reason for this increase in council tax is being cited as the underfunded social care schemes announced by the government. The social care system which aims to support and assist the elderly and disabled with everyday tasks has been under question for a long time due to lack of government funding and much needed structural reforms. It is estimated that there are around 1.5 million people in need of social care but lack access to it since it is means-tested.
The said scheme is expected to cost around £5 billion annually.
Through this article, we have to come to analyse the council tax bands spread across the district of Woking; and also learnt about how council tax bands are assigned. While some Woking residents believe that they may be paying a higher amount of council tax than their neighbours; however, there is a detailed list of community development projects that the council has currently undertaken for which council tax revenues will serve as the major source of finance.
FAQs: What Is The Council Tax In Woking?
What council does Woking come under?
Woking Borough is a shire district council that comes under the County of Surrey.
How is council tax calculated?
Council tax is calculated by the Valuation Office Agency through an assessment of the market value of one’s domestic proprty, its size, layout and location.
How often do you pay council tax?
Council tax is an annual payment to your council for community-based services. It is paid through 10 monthly instalments that run through April to January with no payments due in February and March.
Is Woking a safe place to live?
Woking is the safest town in Surrey with a crime rate of 61 crimes per 100 people in 2020.
What Is The Highest Council Tax Band?
The highest council tax band is Band H,w which is assigned to properties valued at more than £320,000.