When Council Tax bills land on doorsteps across West Devon this week, householders will discover that the cost has gone up to an average £2,166.58 a year for a Band D household - an increase of £99.71 for the year (4.82%).
The largest part of the Council Tax bill that residents pay will go to Devon County Council to pay for the vital services that they provide, including elderly care (social care costs), education and schools, children's services, roads (including potholes) and transport. Devon County Council has increased their share of the Council Tax bill by 4.99%, with 1.99% being for general services and 3% dedicated solely to adult social care costs. The Council Tax increase set by Devon County Council means an increase in the Council Tax bill of £71.82 (4.99%) for West Devon residents. As a result, a Band D household within Devon will pay £1,511.28 to Devon County Council in 2021/22.
When you receive your Council Tax bill, it will have the logo of West Devon Borough Council on the top. This is because the Borough Council is responsible for billing and collecting the Council Tax on behalf of a number of other statutory bodies.
Although the Borough Council sends out the Council Tax bill, the vast majority of the Council Tax income collected is passed onto Devon County Council, the Fire Authority, the Police and Crime Commissioner and local Town and Parish Councils, to pay for the local services that they all provide.
Earlier in February, West Devon Borough Council agreed to increase its share of the Council Tax bill by £5 to £241.63 for a Band D household - an increase of 2.11%. Therefore of an average Band D Council Tax bill of £2,166.58, only 11% (£241.63) goes to West Devon Borough Council to provide local services such as refuse collection and recycling, planning, environmental health, benefits and housing.
The Devon and Cornwall Police and Crime Commissioner has increased its share of the Council Tax bill by 6.73% from £221.64 to £236.56 for a Band D property - an increase of £14.92 for the year.
In addition, the Devon and Somerset Fire & Rescue service has increased its share of the Council Tax bill by 1.99% from £88.24 to £90 for a Band D property - an increase of £1.76 for the year.
On average, the amount of the Council Tax bill which has been set by Town and Parish Councils will increase by £6.21 per year. The actual amount will differ from Parish to Parish. Each individual Town or Parish Council sets their own element of the council tax bill.
Cllr Neil Jory, Leader of West Devon Borough Council, said: "Nobody wants to see any increases in any bills after the year we've all endured. However, your Council Tax pays for a whole range of essential services, including the Police and Fire service which we simply can't do without. I know a lot of people think that the Council Tax they pay all goes to the Borough Council. The truth is that only 11% (or £4.65 a week) of your total bill comes to us to pay for essential services like waste and recycling. The rest of your Council Tax bill is split between the other statutory bodies to cover everything from caring for our elderly and children's services, to must-have policing and fire and rescue services and local parish and town needs.
"We ask residents if you can, please continue to make your Council Tax payments in the usual way as this is paying for vital services. However, if you are struggling financially, we may be able to help. There are measures, such as the Hardship Fund for the Council Tax Reduction Scheme, to support financially vulnerable people and households.
"If you think you may be eligible, our officers can help you to complete a welfare benefit check to ensure you get the help you are entitled to. Please contact us via the website or on 01822 813600."
Band D Property in 2020/21
Band D Property in 2021/22
West Devon Borough Council
Devon County Council
Devon & Cornwall Police & Crime Commissioner
Devon & Somerset Fire & Rescue
Town & Parish Council
West Devon Borough Council fully recognise the economic problems that many households will be experiencing as a result of the Coronavirus emergency. They understand that some residents will find it difficult to meet Council Tax payments.
That is why they are committed to doing everything they can to support residents at this very difficult time. They are urging residents to find out what support is on offer if they are having difficulties with payments.
If you are worried about paying for your Council Tax, you can find out more information here: www.westdevon.gov.uk/article/5438/Worried-about-Paying
Find out about reductions (discounts and exemptions) here: www.westdevon.gov.uk/counciltaxdiscount
If you are on a low income, you can find out more here: www.westdevon.gov.uk/article/6636/Low-Income-Council-Tax-Reduction
The Government has also just published further details on the support scheme for the self-employed for those that have lost income due to Coronavirus. HMRC will contact those that are eligible for the scheme and invite them to apply online.