Council Tax is a fee charged by local authorities, based on the value of a person's home. It pays for around 25 per cent of council expenditure – including policing and rubbish collection.
Local councils set levels of council tax annually, and the amount each household pays depends on which of the eight council tax bands (A, B, C, D, E, F, H) their property falls under.
These bands are based on the value of the property in 1991, when values were last assessed. People in the highest band (H) pay twice the amount of council tax of those in band D, and three times as much as those in the cheapest homes (band A). The tax is paid by the principal "owner/occupier".
Council Tax benefit is available for people on low incomes, and those that live with another adult (who is not their partner) on a low income. Discounts are available for single occupiers (25 per cent off); and certain people (i.e. full time students) are not counted for council tax purposes.