Council tax increases explained
Published: 14 March 2022
How much Council Tax am I paying to Walmer Town Council?
How much we pay in Council Tax depends on the Council Tax Band our home is in. Council Tax Bands go from A (the lowest) to H (the highest) and Band D is the legal baseline used for calculations as Band D is considered by government to be the average, though the largest number of homes in Walmer is in Band C and the majority are Band D and lower.
For a home in Council Tax Band D, a householder will pay £67.95 for the coming financial year for Walmer Town Council’s share of the Council Tax Bill. This equates to £1.31 per week or 19 pence per day.
So where does the rest of my council tax go?
Most of our council tax goes to Kent County Council. The remainder goes to Dover District Council, the Police and Crime Commissioner, the Fire and Rescue Authority, and the Town and Parish Councils.
Kent County Council 71.3%
Dover District Council 9.9%
Police &Crime Commissioner 11.1%
Fire & Rescue Authority 4.0%
Town & Parish Councils (average) 3.7%
What does that mean in pounds and pence?
If your home is in Council Tax Band D, which is the baseline Council Tax Band, then you will pay for the 2022-23 year:
Kent County Council £1,461.24
Dover District Council £202.14
Police &Crime Commissioner £228.15
Fire & Rescue Authority £82.35
Walmer Town Council £67.95
Is Walmer Town Council’s council tax below or above average?
The average Council Tax for the Town and Parish Councils across the Dover District is £75.93 for a home in Council Tax Band D. At £67.95, Walmer Town Council is £7.98 below the average. Out of 35 town and parish councils, Walmer Town Council is 13th in terms of council tax, though it is the 2nd mostly densely populated and the 3rd largest by number of residents.
Walmer Town Council put its Council Tax up by 16.99% for 2022-23. How does this compare to other town and parish councils?
The average percentage increase for all town and parish councils in the district was 10.96%.
Aylesham increased its Council Tax by 60.00% or £42.44 for the year (Band D)
Hougham increased its Council Tax by 18.42% or £10.76 for the year (Band D)
Walmer increased its Council Tax by 16.99% or £.9.87 for the year (Band D)
Deal increased its Council Tax by 16.26% or £9.67 for the year (Band D).
Which Town and Parish Councils are more expensive than Walmer?
Information relating to council tax is easily available on Dover District Council’s website. Four local councils will charge over £100.00 for Band D properties in 2022-23. They are:
Sandwich Town Council £135.96
Aylesham Parish Council £113.17
Dover Town Council £103.87
Guston Parish Council £102.48
In total, 12 town and parish councils in Dover district have higher Council Tax than Walmer.
Are there any ways of reducing my Council Tax Bill?
Specific discounts are laid down by government and details are available on Dover District council’s website. The commonest discount is for a person living alone. They are entitled to a 25% discount and need to apply to Dover District Council. As people under 18 are not liable to Council Tax then a single parent with children under 18 could also claim the discount. Dover District Council’s website also lists a number of other categories of people who could be eligible for a discount. The District Council will make special payment arrangements available for people in severe difficulty.
So, what do I get from Walmer Town Council for my 19 pence per day?
Walmer Town Council has certain things that it must do and other things that it can do for the people of Walmer.
The Town Council must:
Maintain and administer the allotments in its area,
Maintain a website and other means of communication with residents, and
Organise a minimum number of public meetings during the years.
The Town Council is legally obliged to provide opinions on planning applications to Dover District Council which makes the final decision. The Town Council’s Planning Committee meets regularly and makes every effort to inform local people of when particular applications are to be discussed at Town Council level.
The Town Council also maintains Hawksdown Common and the Drill Field and open space off York and Albany. Like all other town and parish councils, Walmer pays Dover District Council for the cleaning of the public toilets. By careful management of finances, Walmer Town Council has brought in some £4,000 in match funding for electric vehicle charging points and, with a contribution of £6,000, will shortly bring in some £34,000 for secure cycle storage at Walmer station. The Town Council also offers residents free use of a thermal imaging camera so they can find out where their homes may be losing heat.
Yes, but the Town Council also needs this increase to cover the costs of the purchase of its offices and for all the paraphernalia of being a Town Council?
The mortgage repayments for the new office are not part of the increase for 2022-23. By buying its own premises, the Town Council can operate more efficiently and will be able to cut costs by energy saving measures benefiting all council tax payers rather than a private individual.
There are no extra costs in Walmer becoming a Town Council. The Chairman of the Council will still be Chairman and not a Mayor. Headed letter paper is generated on computer and any signage referring to Walmer Parish Council will be replaced as and when they need replacement.