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Council Tax charges

Darlington Borough Council has set a Council Tax for 2023/24 of £2,147.26 as the equivalent Band D amount in the urban area.

This is made up of the tax for the:

  • Borough Council’s services £1,777.33
  • Office of the Durham Police Crime and Victims’ Commissioner £255.24
  • County Durham and Darlington Fire and Rescue Authority £114.69

The increase in Council Tax for each authority from 2021/22 is:

  • Darlington Borough Council 4.99%
  • Office of the Durham Police Crime and Victims’ Commissioner 6.24%
  • County Durham and Darlington Fire and Rescue Authority 4.56% 

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.

You can challenge your Council Tax band if you think the band is wrong.

Challenge your Council Tax band [external link].

Council Tax bands and charges

Council tax bands and charges
Part of the Council's area Precept Band A - £ Band B - £ Band C - £ Band D - £ Band E - £ Band F - £ Band G - £ Band H - £
Bishopton 10,633 1,471.11 1,716.29 1,961.48 2,206.66 2,697.03 3,187.39 3,677.77 4,413.32
Heighington 23,230 1,445.42 1,686.32 1,927.23 2,168.13 2,649.94 3,131.74 3,613.55 4,336.26
High Coniscliffe 6,000 1,467.61 1,712.21 1,953.81 2,201.41 2,690.61 3,179.81 3,669.02 4,402.82
Hurworth 59,000 1,457.94 1,700.92 1,943.92 2,186.90 2,672.88 3,158.85 3,644.84 4,373.80
Low Coniscliffe/Merrybent 8,980 1,448.34 1,689.73 1,931.12 2,172.51 2,655.29 3,138.06 3,620.85 4,345.02
Middleton St George 55,890 1,449.60 1,691.20 1,932.80 2,174.40 2,657.60 3,140.79 3,624.00 4,348.80
Neasham 9,990 1,458.77 1,701.89 1,945.03 2,188.15 2,674.41 3,160.65 3,646.92 4,376.30
Piercebridge 1,512 1,447.56 1,688.82 1,930.08 2,171.34 2,653.86 3,136.37 3,618.90 4,342.68
Sadberge 15,895 1,466.69 1,711.13 1,955.59 2,200.03 2,688.93 3,177.81 3,666.72 4,400.06
Whessoe 7,200 1,440.58 1,680.67 1,920.77 2,160.86 2,641.05 3,121.23 3,601.44 4,321.72
All other parts of the Council's area   1,431.51 1,670.09 1,908.68 2,147.26 2,624.43 3,101.59 3,578.77 4,294.52
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 year 2023/24 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 the financial year 2023/24.

The Secretary of State has determined (and the House of Commons has approved) a referendum principle of 5% (comprising 2% for expenditure on adult social care and 3% for other expenditure), for adult social care authorities.

The referendum principles allow an authority to set Council Tax up to 5% in 2023 without holding a referendum.

Darlington Borough Council has approved an additional adult social care “precept” of 2% in 2023/24.

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:

Property valuation bands
Band Range 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 cannot 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 HM Revenue & Customs) 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 partly 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.

Penalties

You should always tell us of any changes that may affect your Council Tax or respond to our written request for information.

The law allows us to charge a penalty of £70 if you fail to tell us about:

  • A single person discount that should have ended
  • An exemption on a dwelling that should have ended
  • Any other discount that should have ended
  • A change of address
  • Any change to the household that affects who should be the liable person
  • Information that was requested to establish liability

Penalties will normally be added to your Council Tax account and a new bill will be sent to you.

Additional penalties

If you've had the first £70 penalty added to your Council Tax bill and we need to make further requests for the same information, we can add further penalties of £280 every time you fail to supply this information.

If you disagree with the penalty

If you disagree with a penalty, you should discuss it with us first so that you can explain why you disagree. Please contact us and we can advise you how to proceed.

Payments during the appeal process

If you do appeal the decision of the penalty being applied, unlike appealing any other part of your Council Tax, you do not have to pay your penalty until your appeal has been decided. You should continue to pay your Council Tax until a decision is made.

Empty Property Premium

If you own a property which has been empty and unfurnished for 1 year or more, you will have to pay an additional charge on your Council Tax.

This is known as an Empty Property Premium and will show as a separate entry on your Council Tax bill.

  • If you own a property which has been empty and unfurnished for 1 year or more you will have to pay an additional premium of 100% on top of your normal Council Tax charge
  • If you own a property which has been empty and unfurnished for 5 years or more you will have to pay an additional premium of 200% on top of your normal Council Tax charge
  • If you own a property which has been empty and unfurnished for 10 years or more you will have to pay an additional premium of 300% on top of your normal Council Tax charge

If your circumstances fit any of the criteria below, there are a number of time limited exceptions available.

Please be aware, that the exceptions cannot be used to avoid the premium charge indefinitely.  

  • Properties for sale or rent - only when the owner is genuinely seeking to sell or rent the property in the local market conditions (realistic selling price or rent level) advertised on the open market through the estate agent
  • Properties in need of renovation - only where the owner is taking action to return the property to occupation and can provide evidence that the action has been continuous and realistic
  • Owners who are experiencing particular legal or technical issues which is preventing the sale or letting of the property - a solicitor's or legal conveyancer's letter should be produced as evidence detailing the reasons preventing sale or letting

If you want to apply for an exception please click here to complete an online application:

Empty Property Premium Exception e-form [opens in new window] 

Details of budget and spending plans for 2023/24

Budget details
Major authorities Council Tax requirements 2022/23 (£000) 2023/24 (£000)
Darlington Borough Council 58,343 61,877
Office of the Durham Police Crime and Victims’ Commissioner 8,280 8,886
County Durham and Darlington Fire and Rescue Authority 3,780 3,993
Total Council Tax requirement 70,403 74,756
Darlington Borough Council's spending plans (gross expenditure)
People Group 115,346 127,991
Chief Executives Office & Economic Growth 3,845 3,953
Services Group 64,592 63,952
Operations Group 44,511 44,791
Public Health 8,636 8,831
Council-wide pressures / (savings) 1,562 1,290
Total gross spending 238.492 250.808
Less Income (135.157) (132.502)
Less Joint Venture - Investment Return (1,864) (1,864)
Less Reserves 468 (1,816)
Add Financing Costs 637 3,477
Total net spending 102,576 [955.07 per head of population] 111,327 [1,028.69 per head population]
Parish Precepts 191 [1.77 per head of population] 198 [1.83 per head population]
Darlington Borough Council's Council tax requirement
Less Formula Grant 42,353 [394.34 per head of population] 48,883 [451.69 per head population]

New Homes Bonus

1,881 [17.51 per head of population] 567 [5.24 per head population]
Darlington Borough Council's Council tax requirement 58,533 [544.99 per head of population] 62,075 [573.59 per head population]

Additional information

Additional information
Darlington Borough Council’s estimated financial reserves March 2023 (£m)  March 2024 (£m)
Estimated balance of the General Fund 24.013 17.122
Darlington Borough Council's Capital Investment Plans for 2022/23    
Housing   24.585
Children Families and Learning   0.159
Transport   3.068
Council funded schemes   1.234
Self-financing schemes   4.000
Other   1.063
Total   34.109

Darlington Borough Borrowing liabilities

The council borrows money on a long term basis to finance capital projects such as housing and schools.

Loans outstanding at 28 February 2023 were £138.148M.

Employee numbers

The number of staff the council employed in February 2023 was 2,265 (FTE 1,664.75) which included all permanent, temporary, casual and supply employees.

Council workforce information

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 2023/24 is £120,060 (from £114,849 in 2022/23).

Police and Fire Authorities

More information about the council’s spending plans can be found online at our finance web pages

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