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Council tax - what is it and how is it spent?

Last Modified September 22, 2016

What is council tax ?

Council tax is a locally-set tax that is payable on all domestic property.

Hertsmere Borough Council is responsible for collecting the tax, but does not keep all of it. It is split between us and other authorities and agencies, which provide public services, such as the police and the county council.

In Hertsmere there are approximately 43,000 properties to which council tax applies. This means almost £70 million needs to be collected by us each year. The tax helps pay for local services such as schools, libraries, police, fire service, parks and waste and recycling collections. The full amount of tax you pay is based on two factors: the property value, and the assumption that there are two or more adults, aged 18 or over, living there.

Property values are divided into eight bands A to H and the tax incurred by each property increases in increments, band A being the lowest. In certain circumstances the amount of tax you pay may be reduced by either a discount or an exemption.

How is your council tax spent ?

The council tax we collect is divided between:

  • 77% - Hertfordshire County Council
  • 11% - Hertsmere Borough Council
  • 10% - Police and Crime Commissioner for Hertfordshire 
  • 2% - Parish / town councils


2016-2017 Hertsmere Borough Council increase for the first time in seven years

Hertsmere Borough Council's share of council tax increased by an average of £5 per household following agreement at the Full Council meeting 24 February 2016.

The decision followed the announcement of the final Local Government Finance Settlement earlier that month which allowed all district and borough councils to increase council tax by up to £5 a year for an average Band D property (or 2%, whichever is the maximum). This late change in legislation was welcomed as it enabled the Executive to reconsider the council tax position for 2016-17, and it unanimously agreed to recommend a £5 increase, which was duly agreed by Full Council.

This increase will generate additional revenue over the original proposal and will allow Hertsmere to protect valuable services for longer.

Councillor John Graham, Portfolio Holder for Finance, said: “The impact on council tax payers in Hertsmere for our share of the overall bill will be less than 10 pence per week per household and represents the first increase in our share of council tax bills in seven years. The increase is essential to enable us to continue to protect and provide our key frontline services and to continue our commitment to providing Police Community Support Officers to help keep our neighbourhoods safe."

Services provided by Hertsmere Borough Council include waste and recycling collections, planning, housing, parks and open spaces, street cleaning and environmental health.

Local Government Finance Settlement Announcement

2016-2017 Hertfordshire County Council increase

Hertfordshire County Council announces decisions around their portion of the council tax separately. It announced that its portion of the council tax bill was going up. It has asked residents to pay a 1.99% increase in its element of the council tax this year to help bridge the gap between growing costs and reduced grant. In addition the government has recognised that the growing cost of care for older and vulnerable adults cannot be afforded within county councils’ finance arrangements and has agreed that a separate 2% social care precept may be raised to help meet these costs.

Services provided by Hertfordshire County Council include managing the county’s highways, health and social care and education.

Information about spending by the county council including details of the Social Care Precept is available at Hertfordshire CC - Council Tax. Alternatively, a hard copy can be requested by telephoning 0300 123 4040 or by writing to Hertfordshire County Council, PO Box 153, Stevenage, Herts, SG1 2GH.


You can read more about the financial budget for Hertsmere, Hertfordshire County Council and the Police and Crime Commissioner:


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