About Council Tax
Council Tax is a locally-set tax that is payable on all domestic properties, including most unoccupied properties.
The Council Tax we collect goes towards paying for the services we provide and also the services provided by parish and town councils, Cheshire Police, and Cheshire Fire Authority. Each of these other organisations sets their own budget, and we collect the money on their behalf.
The Council Tax year runs from 1 April to 31 March. We send out bills in March for the year ahead. You can pay in instalments over the year. See paying your Council Tax.
Council Tax charges 2019/2020
The table below shows the Council Tax charges for Cheshire East Council, Cheshire Police, and Cheshire Fire Authority. The total on your bill will be higher than these amounts, because it also includes the Council Tax charge from your town or parish council. The rate of Council Tax you pay for town or parish council services depends on where you live, so we show this charge separately on the bill.
To check town and parish council charges, see all Council Tax charges in Cheshire East on our Open Data portal.
The Adult Social Care levy is a charge central government allows us to make to help cover the rising costs of social care for adults.
Council Tax charges 2018-19
levy b/f (ASC)
and CE ASC
| Fire|| Police|| Total|
For help understanding your Council Tax bill and details of how we work out the Adult Social Care levy, see Council Tax bills explained.
How we work out what to charge
Elected representatives from each organisation work out how much money they need each year to provide the services they deliver. We then divide the amounts between every household according to the Council Tax band the property is in.
To find out more, see:
Who pays Council Tax
Usually, the person or people who normally live in a property are responsible (liable) for paying the Council Tax. If the property is empty, the owner is usually responsible.
All domestic properties count for Council Tax. This includes houses, flats, maisonettes, mobile homes and canal boats. If you are building a new property, you must tell the Council Tax team.
Legislation sets out a ‘hierarchy of liability’ to show who is responsible for paying the Council Tax for any particular property. This sets out 6 categories of people who might be responsible. If there is no-one who belongs to a particular category, then liability moves down to the next category on the list.
- A resident of the property who has a freehold interest. This would normally be the owner occupier of a freehold property.
- A resident who has a leasehold interest not inferior to any other held by another resident. This would normally be the owner occupier of a leasehold property.
- A resident who rents the property.
- A resident who doesn’t pay rent, but has permission to stay there.
- Any other residents (for example, squatters or other occupants without a formal agreement).
- The owner of the property.
The word ‘resident’ means an individual who is 18 or over and has their only or main home in the property.
Where there is more than one person in the category responsible, the law says that each person is 'jointly and severally liable' for paying the Council Tax. This means everyone is responsible for making sure the full amount due is paid. If payment is late, we can take action against everyone in the category.
When the owner must pay instead of the person who lives there
The owner must pay when:
- the property is a house of multiple occupation where tenants have individual tenancy agreements
- all residents who live in the property are under 18 years old (see Council Tax reductions for occupied properties)
- the property is home to asylum seekers
- the residents are staying in the property temporarily and their main home is somewhere else
- the property is a registered care home, hospital, hostel or refuge
Changes of circumstance
It's important to tell us about changes of address or other changes of circumstance so we can make sure the right people are paying Council Tax.
Some people can get reductions on their Council Tax. See Council Tax reductions on occupied properties and Council Tax for unoccupied properties.
Manage your Council Tax online
To keep track of your Council Tax payments and manage changes online you can set up an account.
Acting on behalf of another person
We must have confirmation from the person concerned if they want us to give information about their Council Tax to another person acting on their behalf. To give this confirmation, they need to sign our authority to disclose form (PDF, 82KB). The authority to disclose will stay in place until the person tells us to stop it.
Paying the right level of Council Tax
The Government has released a plain English guide to Council Tax to prevent households from overpaying.