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Where your Council tax goes

Your Council Tax helps to pay for the wide range of vital services provided by St Albans City and District Council, Hertfordshire County Council, the Parish and Town Councils and The Police and Crime Commissioner for Hertfordshire.

In the financial year 2023-2024, for every £1 you pay in Council Tax 

  • Hertfordshire County Council gets 77p - Total £102.3m
  • St Albans City & District Council will get 9p - Total £12.6m
  • Hertfordshire Police & Crime Commissioner will get 11p - Total £15.2m 
  • Parish Councils get 3p - Total £3.5m 

More information on the charges and variations between parishes Toggle accordion

The following explains the charges in more detail, and the reasons for slight variations between parishes.

St Albans City and District Council

Some residents may notice small differences to the amount they have to pay compared to those who live in other areas of the District. This is as a result of items called general and special expenses which are the St Albans City and District Council elements of the Council Tax bill.

In addition, each Parish or Town Council will have their own funding requirements (called the Parish/Town Council precept) which will also be included in residents’ Council Tax bills.
Below is a brief explanation about these charges.

General Expenses

General expenses are the cost of services provided by the District Council for the benefit of the entire district. These are applied equally to each Parish and Town Council. Therefore, all residents within the District will have the same general expense included in their Council Tax bill.

Special Expenses

Special expenses are charged by St Albans District Council to residents living in specific areas of the District. This is to cover the costs of the specific assets it owns and maintains for residents in that area.

These charges will vary depending on where you live but includes the cost of maintaining parks, play areas and open spaces (including commons). In most areas there is a cost for public conveniences that are run by the District Council and for some car parks that are free to use.

The City of St Albans is an unparished area of our District. Residents within the City have a special expense included to cover the costs of allotments, Christmas lights, bus shelters and the war memorial.

In the interests of fairness and balance the District Council recovers these costs through the special expense charge within residents’ Council Tax bills for those particular areas. 

Where a Parish or Town Council owns and manages its own assets, there will be separate costs (in addition to special expenses). These are charged to local residents by Parish or Town Councils through their own precept. These are shown as a separate item on residents’ Council Tax bills (see separate explanation below about parish precepts).  

Parish/Town Council Precepts

Each Parish or Town Council forecasts (generally around the early part of February each year) the amount of funding it will require for the following financial year. This is called their precept requirement. It asks us to collect this funding on their behalf within residents’ Council Tax bills. The Parish or Town Council element of the Council Tax bills will therefore vary depending on where you live in the District.

We calculate what each Parish or Town Council’s Council Tax base will be for each financial year. The Council Tax base is the number of domestic properties in a particular town or parish after excluding properties that are subject to certain discounts and exemptions.

When the Parish or Town Council tells us what their financial requirements will be, we are then able to calculate what the band D Council Tax charge will be for that particular area. From that, all of the other Council Tax charges for the various Council Tax bands within that parish are calculated.

For example, if the Council Tax base for a parish is 5,000 and their financial requirement (precept) is £200,000 their band D charge would be calculated as follows:

200,000/5,000 = £40.00 (band D charge parish only)

The charges across each of the other Council Tax bands are then calculated as a proportion of the band D charge in accordance with Council Tax legislation as follows:

Band A 6/9 of £40.00 = £26.67
Band B 7/9 of £40.00 = £31.11
Band C 8/9 of £40.00 = £35.56
Band D 9/9 of £40.00 = £40.00
Band E 11/9 of £40.00 = £48.89
Band F 13/9 of £40.00 = £57.78
Band G 15/9 of £40.00 = £66.67
Band H 18/9 of £40.00 = £80.00