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Council tax increase: Map shows areas with highest bills in England

Visitors and shoppers out and about on an ever busy Oxford Street on 18th March 2022 in London, United Kingdom. Oxford Street is a major retail centre in the West End of the capital and is Europe's busiest shopping street with around half a million daily visitors to it's approximately 300 shops, the majority of which are fashion and clothing stores. (photo by Mike Kemp/In Pictures via Getty Images)
Council tax is increasing across England this week as the cost of living crisis continues to bite. (Getty Images)

Council tax has risen across England this week, with the average band D property hit with a £63 annual increase in their annual bill to £1,966 – a hike of 3.5%.

The tax rise adds to the current cost-of-living crunch, coming at the same time as energy prices rise for millions of households.

The new Ofgem price cap kicked in on 1 April, pushing the typical household annual bill up by £693 from £1,277 to £1,971.

Spiking bills and soaring inflation mean households are facing the biggest drop to their disposable income since the 1950s.

In a bid to tackle spiralling fuel bills, Rishi Sunak announced in February that all households in bands A-D would receive a £150 council tax rebate.

Read more: Mum of three with incurable breast cancer unable to put heating on as energy bills soar

Properties in England are put into one of eight council tax bands (A-H) depending on how much they were worth in the year 1991.

Figures released this week by the department for levelling up, housing and communities show how much each of England's local authorities is charging for 2022/23, and how much the tax is increasing in each area. The figures refer to band D properties – the standard for measuring the tax.

Council tax has risen by 3.5% for the average Band D property (Yahoo News UK/Flourish/MHCLU)
Council tax has risen by 3.5% for the average Band D property (Yahoo News UK/Flourish/MHCLU)

Council tax has risen every year in England since 2010/11.

In 2010/11, the average annual council tax bill for a band D property was £1,439.

The biggest annual hike to council tax in the last decade came in 2018/19, when the average bill rose by more than 5%.

Which areas have the highest council tax?

The area of England with the highest council tax is Rutland, East Midlands, where band D properties pay £2,300 a year.

Westminster in central London has the lowest rates, at £866 a year.

Rutland in the East Midlands has the highest council tax rates in England (Yahoo News UK/Flourish/MHCLU)
Rutland in the East Midlands has the highest council tax rates in England (Yahoo News UK/Flourish/MHCLU)

The 10 local authority areas with the highest council tax:

Rutland - £2,300

Nottingham - £2,294

Dorset - £2,290

Lewes - £2,281

Wealden - £2,252

Newark and Sherwood - £2,252

West Devon - £2,231

Bristol - £2,230

Oxford - £2,225

Hastings - £2,219

The 10 local authority areas with the lowest council tax:

Hillingdon - £1,659

Southwark - £1,595

Newham - £1,532

Windsor and Maidenhead - £1,523

Tower Hamlets - £1,520

Kensington and Chelsea - £1,382

Hammersmith and Fulham - £1,228

City of London - £1,075

Wandsworth - £873

Westminster - £866

Council tax bills are made up of several elements. In additional to tax paid to the council itself, bills cover payments to bodies such as county councils, fire and rescue authorities, police and crime commissioners, and parish councils.

Compared to the rest of the country, London is an area of relatively low council tax.

Watch: Brits hit by biggest energy bills jump in living memory

Eleven of the 13 authorities that charge less than £1,700 in council tax are in the capital. The other two are Windsor and Maidenhead, and the Isles of Scilly.

Where is council tax going up most?

As well as having the highest council tax, Rutland is also seeing the largest overall rise in 2022/23, with band D bills increasing by £105 – wiping out most of the benefit from the chancellor's £150 rebate.

Ninety-one of England's 309 local authorities will see a council tax hike of more than £75.

Sandwell in the West Midlands has the highest proportional increase, with council tax rising by 5.2% from £1,742 to £1,831.

Cost of living crisis

Rising council tax bills make up just one part of the UK's current cost of living crisis.

Inflation has risen to levels not seen in decades, largely driven by the spike in energy bills.

Inflation has hit levels not seen in the UK for decades (Yahoo News UK/Flourish/ONS)
Inflation has hit levels not seen in the UK for decades (Yahoo News UK/Flourish/ONS)

Food and groceries have also soared in cost.

Read more: Rachel Reeves – Taxpayer cash ‘going up in smoke under this government'

Senior economists have warned Sunak’s current portfolio of measures to tackle the crisis will leave the poorest, out-of-work households the worst off.

Torsten Bell, chief executive of the Resolution Foundation think tank, told MPs this week: “It is an odd choice to have offered basically next to nothing to those households in this spring statement.

“I didn’t think [Sunak] would do that and I was wrong.”

The Resolution Foundation has calculated that the cost of living crisis will push 1.3 million households into absolute poverty.