Council Tax is charged on all domestic properties in England and Wales, including houses, flats, maisonettes, caravans and houseboats.
We send you a bill for your Council Tax in March each year for the financial year ahead (1 April to 31 March). We may also send you a revised bill if your account needs adjusting at any time in the year.
Council Tax only contributes around 20% to help fund the full cost of council services. You can read more about our funding on the 2023-2024 budget webpage.
Our Council Tax bill explanatory notes tell you more about valuation bands, discounts, Council Tax Support and appeals. You might also find our easy read guide to Council Tax useful.
You can view your Council Tax and benefits online by setting up a My Bentax account.
What we do with Council Tax
We use money raised from Council Tax to provide local services like schools, social care, road maintenance and rubbish collection. It only contributes around 20% to help fund the full cost of council services.
Council Tax also contributes to other community services like the police, passenger transport, fire and civil defence, and pensions authority.
How much Council Tax you pay
The amount of Council Tax you pay depends on the value of your property. There are eight valuation bands (A to H) and your Council Tax is determined by the band your property is placed in. These bands are set by the Valuation Office Agency.
You can see what we charge for your area on our Council Tax bands and charges page.
Council Tax is a part-property, part-person tax. The full amount assumes that there are two or more adults (aged 18 or above) living in the property. If only one adult lives there, a 25% discount applies.
How to pay your Council Tax
You can pay your Council Tax in monthly instalments over a 10 monthly period. Your first payment should be paid within 14 days from when we send you the bill.
The easiest way to pay is by setting up a Direct Debit. You can also pay by card or standing order. Read more about how to pay your Council Tax.
Council Tax increase for 2023 to 2024
The council’s component of your overall Council Tax bill increased by 3.9% for 2023 to 2024. This is despite efforts to bridge the gap in funding. This is due to:
- the year-on-year cuts from central government
- growing demand for our services and inflation
This increase includes:
- 2% specifically for adult social care services. This is to help continue to provide high-quality care for frail and vulnerable people. It will also help meet increasing demand as the population ages.
- 1.9% to pay for core services, such as road maintenance, bin collections, recycling, library services, fostering, adoption and school transport.
The increase in Council Tax means that most households will pay less than a £1 per week extra. This will raise an extra £4 million in revenue and help us to continue protecting Barnsley’s essential services. We assure you this decision has not been taken lightly and we know that money is tight. A number of options have been explored to prevent our residents from having to dig even deeper into their pockets and to minimise the impact it has on them.
It’s also important to remember that Council Tax only contributes around 20% to help fund the full cost of council services. This is a small proportion of the total amount of money we’ll spend delivering our services.
We’ll also be looking at least £7.3 million in efficiencies across the council. We're looking at changing the way we deliver our services to meet our residents’ needs. This will have no impact on the services you receive.
What the 3.9% Council Tax increase means to you and your family
The financial impact of increase will depend on the housing band in which you live. Find out more about Council Tax bands and charges.
The table below provides the total weekly and annual charge based on your house band.
|Band||Barnsley Council||South Yorkshire Fire||South Yorkshire Police||Total 2023-24 Council Tax||Weekly cost||Monthly cost|
Paying for adult social care as part of your Council Tax
The adult social care precept was introduced by the government in 2017-18. This is to allow councils that provide social care to raise additional funds to spend on adult social care. The number of older people living in Barnsley continues to grow. This puts a lot of pressure and demand on our social care services. This brings with it a huge cost and impact on our budget.
The government have again allowed councils to charge an adult social care precept. Because of the ongoing pressures within this service, the difficult decision was taken to charge 2%.
If you're struggling to pay your Council Tax
We’re providing additional Council Tax Support to around 24,000 households across the borough. This includes support from the government Council Tax Support Fund.
People on the local Council Tax Support scheme will see no increase in their Council Tax bills. Some people on the lowest incomes will see a decrease in their bills. This is because we’re also providing a one-off grant to them.
If you’re struggling to pay your Council Tax and can’t access local Council Tax Support, we have a Council Tax hardship support scheme. You might be able to access this depending on your circumstances.
Take a look at our More Money in Your Pocket webpages to find support available for:
- food and housing costs
- utility bills
- managing your money
- employment and improving your skills
Council Tax liability
Only people aged 18 or over have to pay Council Tax. Where more than one person aged 18 or over is living in your home, the one nearest to the top of the following list will be responsible for paying Council Tax:
- Resident freeholders (owner occupiers)
- Resident leaseholders (this includes assured tenants under the Housing Act 1988)
- Residents who are statutory or secure tenants (rent payers)
- Resident licensees (those who have a contractual licence to occupy the property)
- Residents with no legal interest in the property
- Owners (if the property has nobody living in it)
Joint and several liability
This is a legal term. It means that if more than one person is liable for the Council Tax at a property, each of them will be liable for the whole amount of the Council Tax, not just a share of it. This could be the case if there are joint owners or joint tenants for example. Each of them can be asked to pay the full amount outstanding.
Married couples or people who live together as a couple are held jointly responsible.
If any of your circumstances change that could affect your Council Tax liability, tell us straight away. See how to do this on our change in circumstances page.
Liability of owners
If you own a property, you’ll be held liable for the Council Tax during any period when the property is unoccupied. However, you may be able to apply for certain discounts or exemptions.
Owners of properties like the ones below will be held liable for Council Tax even though the property is occupied by others:
- Care homes, independent hospitals and hostels
- Those inhabited by religious communities
- Those occupied by resident domestic staff
- Those inhabited by ministers of religion
- Those occupied by asylum seekers
- Houses in multiple occupation
If you own a rental property and it becomes unoccupied due to a tenant leaving, a 100% discount will apply for up to one month from the date the last tenancy ended.
Where a property has been unoccupied and unfurnished for over two years, the Council Tax will increase by 100%.
Where a property has been unoccupied and unfurnished for over five years, the Council Tax will increase by 200%.
Where a property has been unoccupied and unfurnished for over 10 years, the Council Tax will increase by 300%.
Challenge your Council Tax liability
You can use our online form if you think that you may have been made liable for Council Tax incorrectly. Please explain why you believe you're not liable, and attach any evidence you have.
Further legal information
Your liability for Council Tax comes under the Local Government Finance Act 1992 and the subsequent regulations. It’s not dependent on either your consent or the existence of a contract with us.
Any belief that the absence of consent or a contract stops your liability to Council Tax is incorrect in law. You have no legal basis upon which to make such an argument.
You can find out about how Council Tax is spent by viewing our accounts or the budget report.
Payment of Council Tax isn’t dependant on you receiving information about how it’s spent, nor whether you agree with how it was and is spent.
We’ll proceed against you for non-payment of Council Tax if you fail to pay it.