Council Tax Charges

Darlington Borough Council has set a Council Tax for 2017/18 of £1,646.19 as the equivalent Band D amount in the urban area. This is made up of the tax for the Borough Council’s services £1,314.82, an Adult Social Care precept of £64.48, the tax for the Office of the Durham Police Crime and Victims’ Commissioner £169.24 and the tax for County Durham and Darlington Fire and Rescue Authority £97.65. The remainder is converted to an additional Council Tax for parish households. The figures appropriate to each parish and band are shown in the table below.

The increase in Council Tax for each authority from 2016/17 is:

  • Darlington Borough Council 1.99%
  • Darlington Borough Council Adult Social Care Precept 3.0% 
  • Office of the Durham Police and Crime Commissioner 1.98%
  • County Durham and Darlington Fire and Rescue Authority 1.97%
Part of the Council's areaPreceptBand A - £Band B - £Band C - £Band D - £Band E - £Band F - £Band G - £Band H - £
Bishopton 5,868 1,120.21 1,306.91 1,493.61  1,680.31 2,053.71 2,427.11 2,800.52 3,360.62
Heighington 16,772 1,110.07 1,295.08 1,480.09 1,665.10  2,035.12 2,405.14 2,775.17 3,330.20
High Coniscliffe 3,500 1,119.21 1,305.74 1,492.28 1,678.81  2,051.88 2,424.95 2,798.02 3,357.62
Hurworth 53,000 1,126.55 1,314.31 1,502.07 1,689.83  2,065.35 2,440.87 2,816.38 3,379.66
Low Coniscliffe/Merrybent 10,390 1,120.36 1,307.09 1,493.81 1,680.54  2,053.99 2,427.45 2,800.90 3,361.08
Middleton St George 45,182 1,115.63 1,301.57 1,487.51 1,673.45  2,045.33 2,417.21 2,789.08 3,346.90
Neasham 3,774 1,108.16 1,292.85 1,477.55 1,662.24  2,031.63 2,401.01 2,770.40 3,324.48
Piercebridge 1,512 1,113.51 1,299.10 1,484.68 1,670.27  2,041.44 2,412.61 2,783.78 3,340.54
Sadberge 10,875 1,122.83 1,309.96 1,497.10 1,684.24 2,058.52  2,432.79 2,807.07 3,368.48
Whessoe 5,427 1,103.97 1,287.96 1,471.96 1,655.95 2,023.94  2,391.93 2,759.92 3,311.90
All other parts of the Council's area   1,097.46 1,280.37 1,463.28  1,646.19 2,012.01  2,377.83  2,743.65 3,292.38
Ratio (proportion of band D)   6/9 7/9 8/9 9/9 11/9 13/9 15/9 18/9

Adult Social Care Precept

The Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government has made an offer to adult social care authorities. (“Adult social care authorities” are local authorities which have functions under Part 1 of the Care Act 2014, namely county councils in England, district councils for an area in England for which there is no county council, London borough councils, the Common Council of the City of London and the Council of the Isles of Scilly.)

The offer is the option of an adult social care authority being able to charge an additional “precept” on its council tax for the financial years from the financial year beginning in 2016 without holding a referendum, to assist the authority in meeting expenditure on adult social care. Subject to the annual approval of the House of Commons, the Secretary of State intends to offer the option of charging this “precept” at an appropriate level in each financial year up to and including the financial year 2019-20.

In relation to the financial year beginning in 2017 the Secretary of State has determined (and the House of Commons has approved) a referendum principle of 5% (comprising 3% for expenditure on adult social care and 2% for other expenditure), for adult social care authorities. The referendum principles are limited to a maximum 6% for adult social care over the three years between 2017/18 and 2019/20 subject to a maximum of 3% in any one year. These authorities may therefore set council tax up to 5% in 2017 without holding a referendum.

The Local Government Finance Settlement 2017/18 announced that local authorities responsible for adult social care would be allowed to increase council tax by an additional 3% above the existing referendum limit of 2% as long as it was used entirely for adult social care. This was in recognition of demographic changes nationally which are leading to growing demand for adult social care, which is an increasing pressure on council budgets.

How will the Council use the 3% Adult Social Care Precept?

The 2017/18 Council Tax increase includes the 3% Adult Social Care Precept, which will raise an additional £1.261M.   The Council has submitted a response to DCLG regarding the use of the Precept in 2017/18 [pdf document] 

Valuation bands

Each dwelling is placed in a valuation band to enable the Council to calculate the bill for each property. The value is based on what the property might have sold for on the open market at 1/4/1991- not the current value which is now likely to be considerably more. Even the values of properties built since 1991 are estimates of what they might have been worth at 1/4/1991 had they been completed.

The current range of property values within each valuation band is as follows

BandRange of Values (at 1 April 1991)Proportion of Band D
A Up to £40,000 6/9
B Over £40,000 and up to £52,000 7/9
C Over £52,000 and up to £68,000 8/9
D Over £68,000 and up to £88,000 9/9
E Over £88,000 and up to £120,000 11/9
F Over £120,000 and up to £160,000 13/9
G Over £160,000 and up to £320,000 15/9
H Over £320,000 18/9

The proportion of each band to band D means, for example, that a dwelling in band H will pay 3 times as much council tax as a dwelling in band A and twice as much as a dwelling in band D. A dwelling in band A will pay two thirds of the amount paid by dwelling in band D.

Even if you make improvements to your property that significantly increase its value, the valuation banding can not be increased until either there is a change of ownership or there is revaluation of all dwellings.

Dwellings are valued for council tax by the Valuation Office Agency (part of the Inland Revenue) and not by the Council. Details of all properties are available on the Valuation Office Agency's website [external link].

If you think the valuation band placed on your property is too high, you can only appeal to the Valuation Office Agency in specific circumstances, including the following:

  • less than six months have elapsed since a change of ownership in the property
  • the property has been wholly or party demolished
  • the surroundings of the property have changed
  • improvements have been made to the property and it has been sold
  • Council tax will always be payable on the existing valuation until any appeal is successful in reducing the valuation.

Empty Property Premium

If you own a property which has been empty and unfurnished for 2 years or more, you will have to pay an additional 50% on your Council Tax. This is known as an Empty Property Premium and will show as a separate charge on your Council Tax bill.

Details of budget and spending plans for 2017/18

Major authorities Council Tax requirements 2016/17 (£000)2017/18 (£000)
Darlington Borough Council 41,817 44,279
Durham Police Authority 5,267 5,414
County Durham and Darlington Fire and Rescue Authority 3,039 3,124
Total Council Tax requirement 50,123 52,817
Darlington Borough Council's spending plans (gross expenditure)    
Children and Adults Services 103,168 98,058
Economic Growth 28,056 24,705

Neighbourhood Services and Resources

86,788 84,577
Public Health 9,128 8,844

Council-wide pressures / (savings)

(1,238) (3,860)
Total gross spending 225,902 212,324
Less

Income

(142,052) (135,563)
Less Reserves (6,132) (920)
Add Financing Costs 462 1,645
Total net spending 78.180 [741.75 per head of population] 77,486 [735.16 per head of population]
Parish Precepts 119 [1.13 per head of population] 156 [1.48 per head of population]
Darlington Borough Council's Council tax requirement    
Less Formula Grant (33,784) [320.53 per head of population] (31,085) [294.36 per head of population]

New Homes Bonus

(2,698) [25.60 per head of population] (2,278) [21.61 per head of population]
Darlington Borough Council's Council tax requirement 41,817 [396.75 per head of population] 44,123 [418.62 per head of population]

Additional information

Darlington Borough Council's estimated financial reserves March 2017 (£m)March 2018 (£m)
Estimated balance of the General Fund 16.697 15.012
Darlington Borough Council's Capital Investment Plans for 2017/18    
Housing   13.273
Children Families and Learning   0.138
Transport   7.522
Other   0.866
Total   21.799

Borrowing liabilities: The Council borrows money on long term basis to finance capital projects such as housing and schools. Loans outstanding at 28 February 2017 were £127.16m.

Employee numbers: The number of staff the council employed in February 2017 was 2,256 which included all permanent, temporary, casual and supply employees.

Environment Agency - North East Region: The Environment Agency raises a levy on all local authorities to pay for flood defence work.  The levy on Darlington for 2017/18 is £102,064 (from £100,944 in 2016/17).

Durham Police Authority's budget and spending plans [external link]

County Durham and Darlington Fire and Rescue Authority's budget and spending plans [external link]