Information about council tax, what it is, how to pay it, and what council tax band your property is in.
Council tax is one way in which the council raises money to pay for the services it provides. It is charged on most homes. It does not matter whether the home is rented or owned, or whether it is lived in or not.
Click in the viewer below to read our guide 'About your Council Tax', or download a copy from the right hand downloads menu.
For the current council tax base and annual charge, please see the right hand downloads menu.
Council tax is a property tax with a personal element. It takes into account the value of a property and the number of people aged 18 or over who live there.
If a property has one adult resident, the amount of council tax payable is 75% of the council tax band for that property, subject to discounted residents.
If a property has 2 or more adult residents, the amount payable is 100% of the amount for the band, subject to discounted residents.
Lancaster City Council is the billing authority for this area. It has the responsibility for levying and collecting council tax and paying over to Lancashire County Council, Lancashire Police Authority and the Lancashire Combined Fire Authority the sums of money they have requested us to collect on their behalf.
Changes to Council Tax Discounts and Exemptions from April 2013
As part of their strategy to bring empty homes into use, the Government is making changes to the council tax scheme in respect of empty properties and second homes.
The exemptions currently given to certain types of empty homes (Class A and Class C) will be replaced with a discount, the amount of which will be decided by local councils.
These changes will affect council tax payers who currently receive reductions or exemptions in respect of:
- "Second Homes" i.e. unoccupied, furnished properties
- Certain types of empty, unfurnished properties – including those undergoing renovation
- "Long term empty" properties that have been unoccupied for 2 years or more at 1st April 2013
What the council has decided
Second Homes - on which we currently allow a discount of 10%, will pay full Council Tax from 1st April 2013.
Class C Exemption - which is currently given to empty/unfurnished properties for a maximum of 6 months, will be abolished with effect from 31 March 2013.
Lancaster City Council will be replacing this exemption with a discount of 100% which will be awarded for a period of up to 2 months followed by a 50% discount for a further period of up to 4 months following which full council tax will become payable.
Class A Exemption - which is currently given to empty/unfurnished properties for a maximum period of 12 months whilst they require or are undergoing major repair work to render them habitable, will also be abolished with effect from 31 March 2013.
Lancaster City Council will be replacing this exemption with a discount of 50% for a maximum period of 12 months following which full council tax will become payable.
New Empty Property Levy (Premium)
The Government has provided Councils with a discretionary power to charge an empty homes premium on properties which are empty and unfurnished and have been so for 2 years or more.
Lancaster City Council will charge an additional 50% premium on top of the full council tax payable on these properties.
For further information on council tax, including council tax bands and how to pay, please use the links in the left hand menu.