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What Council Tax pays for

Paying Council Tax is a legal requirement for most homes in the UK.

The amount you pay depends on the value of your property and the corresponding valuation band it falls into. It’s not based on how much the members of the household earn.

Council Tax goes towards the cost or providing local services, including:

  • emergency services
  • rubbish collection
  • libraries
  • schools
  • streetlights
  • our services (BCP Council)
  • Dorset & Wiltshire Fire & Rescue Authority
  • Dorset Police and Crime Commissioner.

The amount you pay depends on the value of your house, but you may be eligible for discounts or exemptions depending upon your circumstances.

We will change your bill if you qualify for any Council Tax discounts or exemptions.

Who pays Council Tax

You need to be over 18 to pay for Council Tax and one of the following:

  • a freeholder living in the property
  • a leaseholder living in the property
  • a tenant living in the property
  • someone with a licence to live in the property
  • any other person (including squatters).

If nobody lives in the property, the owner still needs to pay Council Tax if they are the freeholder or leaseholder.

Guide to Council Tax

Bournemouth residents -  download our guide.

Christchurch residents - download our guide

Poole residents - download our guide

The guide forms part of your Council Tax bill and contains important information which may help you to reduce your bill and answer questions you may have.

Detailed Government information about Council Tax.