Council tax could soar by 6% next year as cost of living rises

COUNCIL tax bills could soar by as much as 6% in 2022 as the cost of living continues to rise.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak has already announced a 3% hike next year – with bills set to jump by as much as £400 a year.

But some local authorities will be able to add extra to your council tax payments, meaning they will rise by up to 6% next year.

According to the latest government documents, local authorities can add on up to 3% by carrying over unused adult social care allowances from the previous year.

Four councils could raise bills by 3%, while 32 are believed to be able to use 2% or less of their untouched allowance, the Daily Mail reported.

It is the latest blow for families concerned about the cost of living rising.

The latest research by Resolution Foundation showed that household expenses could spike by £1,200 next year.

That's due to climbing energy bills and inflation, coupled with stalling wage growth.

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We explain how to reduce your council tax bill.

Apply for a council tax reduction

You might be able to get your council tax bill reduced, but it depends on your personal circumstances.

Reductions are available for those on low-incomes, people claiming certain benefits and those caring for otheres.

The discount ranges from 25% off to 100%, which would mean you pay nothing for council tax.

The exact amount depends on:

  • Where you live
  • Your circumstances (eg income, number of children, benefits, residency status)
  • Your household income – this includes savings, pensions and your partner’s income
  • If your children live with you
  • If other adults live with you

You'll need to contact your local authority for more information and apply for a council tax reduction directly.

Get a council tax discount

There are other ways to get money of your council tax bill, so you should check whether you're eligible.

For example, carers and those with a disability could get their bill cut by between 25% and 50%.

Apprentices, those with severe mental impairments and those living in a care home or staying in hospital could also be eligible for a discount.

Meanwhile, students get a full exemption from the bill, meaning they pay nothing at all.

However for this to apply, everyone in the household must be a student and be studying full-time.

Anyone living alone can get a 25% discount, or if they live with others who don't count towards paying council tax, like a student, carer or apprentice.

Owners of empty properties may also be eligible for a discount, depending on the length of time.

However, some councils may charge more if the house has not been occupied for a long period.

Contact your local council to check what support you can claim and apply.

You can check the help you could get with council tax bills an other support using a benefits calculator.

Get your council tax band changed

It's possible to reduce your council tax bill by getting your property band changed.

Thousands of people managed to slash their bills last financial year by getting their council tax band reduced.

If you're successful, you could get a refund worth several thousands of pounds and hundreds knocked off your annual bill.

Experts estimate that up to 400,000 properties are still in the wrong band – meaning loads of people are probably paying more than they need to.

Beffore you submit a claim, you should check what your neighbours are paying and compare the valuation of similar properties in your area.

MoneySavingExpert has a free calculator tool to help you do this, as well as a table on what band you should have been put in.

If these indicate you are in the wrong band you can then make a challenge through the Valuation Office Agency (VOA).

If you're unsuccessful though, your band could be increased and you'll end up paying more.

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