Local Council funding
Local Council funding comes from the Council Tax (Rates in N.Ireland) which residents pay (38% of the total) and from Business Rates which companies pay (20% of the total). The other 42% comes from Government grants, plus various fees and charges for permits, licences, applications, etc.. This income then pays for numerous local services, from bin collections to school admissions to the police.
One glance at the homepage of your local council’s website will be enough to convince you of the necessity of these services running smoothly, but budgeting for them can be an extremely difficult juggling act.
Rates in N.Ireland are charged as a multiplication of a property’s rateable value as at 1st January 2005 by a figure determined annually by each council. Elsewhere in the UK, council tax is charged according to the property’s value on 1st April 1991 (2003 in Wales). New prperties are assessed backwards. There are eight council tax bands (nine in Wales), from A to H (I in Wales) and each year every council adds up all projected expenses and divides that by the number of residential properties to find the base amount for band D. The bands below pay less and the bands above pay more by set ratios.