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Council tax band A is the lowest of the valuation brackets and in England it includes properties ranging in values from 0 to £40,000. Council tax band A in Scotland has an upper limit of £27,000 and in Wales it extends upwards to £44,000. This band contains the cheapest properties and as might be expected has the highest percentage of low income households. It contains around six million households which is roughly a quarter of the total number in Britain. About half of the six million are of low income including nearly 1.4 million pensioners. There are around 4.5 million high income households in Britain and only about 200,000 or 5% are in band A. In Britain as a whole there are a little over seven million low income households and about 42 percent of these are in band A. This can be contrasted with band H which has around 150 thousand households including just over 100,000 high income and around 11,000 low income. Thus there are nearly fourteen times as many low income as high income households in band A, but nearly nine times as many high income as low income households in band H.

Council tax is acknowledged to be highly regressive and people with properties in band A are the main losers in this respect. Despite the fact that people in this category tend to have the lowest earnings they pay on average more in council tax as a percentage of property value than those  in any other band.  Table 1 below shows the amount of council tax payable in each band as a percentage of property values. (For both years the tax rates used were the averages for each band in England). The first set of data shows the percentages for 1993 – 1994 when the tax was introduced in the UK. Properties in band A paid at least 0.95% of their values in council tax compared with those in H which paid a maximum of 0.36%.  By 2010 – 2011, band A properties were paying a minimum of 2.40% of their values and homes in H were paying at most 0.90% of values. After seventeen years of council tax increases the maximum paid in band H was lower in percentage terms in 2010 – 2011 than the minimum paid in band A in 1993 – 1994.  The table below shows that for both years the lower the valuation band the more council tax is paid as a percentage of value. There is a consistent reduction in percentages payable with increasing values. The only exceptions result from the fact that Properties with values placing them near the bottom of a valuation bracket may pay higher percentages than those near the top of the band below them. This is because although the dwellings may be quite close to each other in value they are paying different council tax rates due to being in different bands. However both the top and bottom of each band show a reduction in percentages payable as values increase. The final column illustrates how much more in percentage terms properties at the top of band A pay compared with properties at the top of bands B to G. Households in band A pay 11.43% more as a percentage of  property value than those in B and this increases to 220.00% more in comparison with homes in band G. Even these figures do not show the full extent of regressivity because band H has no upper limit that can be compared statistically with dwellings at the top of the other brackets. It includes the most expensive homes in the country, some of which are worth millions of pounds – far more than the £320,000 lower limit. If we assigned a notional £5 million to   the top of this band then these households would be paying around 0.06% of their values in council tax, and the percentage paid by properties at the top of band A is over  4,000 times as much as that. It is worth stressing that £5 million would not be the dearest property – there are homes valued in excess of 100 million pounds and yet they still only have to pay the council tax band H rate, which in 2010 - 2011 averages £2,878 in England. Additionally £40,000 is the upper limit of band A and it includes properties worth less than this which will have to pay even higher percentages of their values in the tax.


Table 1.  Amount of Council Tax as Percentage of Property Value


Band      Council Tax as % of Value   

            1993 – 1994            2010 – 2011

A         0.95% and over        2.40% and Over   
B         0.85% to 1.10%        2.15% to 2.80%      11.43%
C         0.74% to 0.97%        1.88% to 2.46%     27.50%
D         0.65% to 0.84%        1.64% to 2.12%     46.67%
E          0.58% to 0.79%        1.47% to 2.00%     63.64%
F          0.51% to 0.68%        1.30% to 1.73%     84.62%
G          0.30% to 0.59%        0.75% to 1.50%     220.00%

H         0.36%   and under       0.90% and under







Council Tax Benefits Charges Rates Bands Exemptions
Copyright (2007)