A Council Tax Parish Charge is an additional fee which is collected by a Local Authority and used to fund the running of a local Parish Council.
What is a Parish Council
A Parish Council (sometimes called a Town Council) is another level of local government, which is placed below the local Borough, County or District council. Around 16 million people fall within areas covered by Parish Councils.
What is the Parish Charge ?
A Council Tax charge can include a Parish Charge if the area in which are resident falls within a designated Parish – this is an additional component on top of the basic Council Tax charge to pay towards the funding of the local Parish Council. The average Parish Charge for a Band D property is around £35 per year.
Council Tax rises
A Parish Council is not currently subject to the 2% / 4% limit which applies to most Council Tax rises.
What does a Parish Council do ?
The services provided by a Parish Council will vary from area to area however they provide functions delegated from the Local Authority, such as grass cutting, running of village halls, maintenance of public parks etc.
Billing and Recovery of the Parish Charge
The Parish Charge is included within the amount shown on the Council Tax demand notice issued by the Local Authority. Any unpaid monies will be recovered in the same way as your normal Council Tax charge.
New Parish Councils
With the ever-present Council Tax cuts which are taking place some Local Authorities are looking at increasing the number of Parish Councils within their area. This change allows the Local Authority to delegate some functions to the new Parish Council and add an additional charge to the annual Council Tax charge to cover the running of the Parish Council. These costs would previously have been included in the basic Council Tax charge.
In order to set up a Parish Council the decision must be requested by a proportion of the local electorate – this figure varies depending on how many people are resident in the area, for example, in an area of 3,000 people 7.5% must support the idea – or, alternatively, it can be initiated directly by the Local Authority. Once the process to initiate a Parish Council has begun a consultation period will then be undertaken prior to a formal decision being made.
Advice & Assistance from LGFA92
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This article is solely the view of LGFA92, the Council Tax experts, based on our interpretation of legislation. Your local authority is free to dispute this view. A binding decision may require the intervention of a valuation tribunal.