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How your council tax is calculated and how it is spent
Council Tax is a local tax that helps to pay for a wide range of public services in your borough.
Each household receives a bill and the amount each household pays depends on which property valuation band the home is in and any discounts or exemptions that apply.
There are 8 valuation bands which relate to the value of the property on 1 April 1991, with the value of new properties being assessed back to this date.
In addition to Merton’s Council Tax, the Council also collect an amount of Council Tax on behalf of the GLA, and households within three quarters of a mile of Wimbledon Common are required to pay an additional levy for Wimbledon and Putney Commons Conservation.
The amount of council tax you pay depends on which of the eight bands your home comes under.
We use band D charge as the basis for working out the charge for the other bands. For example, the charge for a band D property for 2017/2018 is £1,415.33.
To work out the cost of a band C property in the main part of the borough it’s £1,415.33 x 8/9.
Property value (on 1 April 1991)
Proportion of band D charge
Council tax charge (Main part of borough)
|A||Up to £40 000||6/9||£943.55|
If you live within the area of Wimbledon and Putney Common you pay an extra £28.61 (Band D) to cover the expenses of the Commons Conservators. Including this charge, the Band D charge is £1,433.94
You may not have to pay the full council tax charge as you may be entitled to a discount or an exemption
Council tax helps pays for the local services we provide. With the introduction of the Adult Social Care Levy there are four main elements to the charge:-
|Merton's Band D Council tax||
|Merton general precept||1,102.25||1,102.25||0.00%|
|Merton Adult Social Care Precept||0.00||33.06||3.0%|
Merton Band D exc. WPCC
Merton Band D incl GLA exc. WPCC
Merton Band D inc WPCC & GLA
The Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government has made an offer to adult social care authorities. (“Adult social care authorities” are local authorities which have functions under Part 1 of the Care Act 2014, namely county councils in England, district councils for an area in England for which there is no county council, London borough councils, the Common Council of the City of London and the Council of the Isles of Scilly.)
The offer is the option of an adult social care authority being able to charge an additional “precept” on its council tax for financial years from the financial year beginning in 2016 without holding a referendum, to assist the authority in meeting expenditure on adult social care. Subject to the annual approval of the House of Commons, the Secretary of State intends to offer the option of charging this “precept” at an appropriate level in each financial year up to and including the financial year 2019-20.
Our main sources of income are:
The table below shows the main sources which provide the money we plan to spend on services in 2017/2018.
|Revenue support grant||16271||11.9%||75.36|
|Council tax requirement||82563||60.2%||382.41|
* based on estimated population of 215 900 in 2017 (sourceL: ONS)
Merton’s Medium Term Financial Strategy sets out details for the next four years.
This table shows the amount we plan to spend on council services in 2017 to 2018 compared to last year (excluding schools which are funded by a Dedicated Schools Grant).
The income we have to spend on services has gone down over the last two years as the funds we receive from government have been cut. To deal with this, we’ve had to find ways to deliver our services more efficiently with less money.
|Gross expenditure £000s||Income£000s||Net expenditure £000s||
|Income£000s||Net expenditure £000s|
|Corporate Services||13986||(132,628)||11358||144032||(133 167)||10 865|
|Children, Schools and Families||221 663||(166 480)||50 183||224 583||(172 004)||52 579|
|Environment and Regeneration||66794||(45 564)||21 230||64 497||(41 313)||23 184|
|Community and Housing||83 948||(27,730)||56,218||89 683||(25 365)||64 318|
|Investments and provisions||25 979||(28 981)||(3002)||13880||(25106)||(11 226)|
|Planned expenditure||538 298||(401383)||136915||537 607||(396 955)||140 652|
|Contribution to/(from) reserves||1 693||0||(1693)||0||(3 533)||(3 533)|
|Net requirement for tax purposes||539 991||(401 383)||138 608||537 607||(400 488)||137 119|
|Public Health||11 897||(11 481)||416||10 948||(10 948)||0|
Public health funding is provided by the NHS and is not part of our services. We have included it to show that it is money we are responsible for although it has no effect on the level of council tax set.
This chart shows the figures in a pie chart from the 2017 to 2018 income and expenditure table
Our spending has gone down from £138.608m in 2016-17 to £137.119m in 2017-218. We’ve made savings of £9.417m on council services.
|Revenue spending 2016/17||138 608|
|Savings in service provision||(9 417)|
|Growth in Service Provision||11 927|
|Pay and price increases (net)||3 160|
|Other corporate adjustments, concessary fares, etc.||(0.146)|
|Capital financing||(1 618)|
|Grants and Other Income||0.802|
|Pension Fund - Actuarial Review||(0.971)|
|Appropriations to/(from) reserves||(5226)|
|Budget requirement 2017/18||137 119|
These are the bodies we pay levies to. These are set by the bodies and we do not have a choice in paying these.
|Lee Valley Regional Park||203 789||190 246|
|Environment Agency: Flood defences||162 130||164 339|
|London Pensions Fund Authority||261 580||259 600|
|Wimbledon and Putney Commons Conservators||300 042||318 443|
|Total levies||927 541||932 628|
We estimate our long-term borrowing to fund capital programme projects which help improve the borough’s economic well-being, to be £117m as of 31 March 2017.
Taking into account debt maturing and current capital expenditure proposals, it is expected that this will reduce to £113m at 31 March 2018.
The interest charges arising on this amount are financed from the council’s resources.
We estimate the number of staff we will employ (calculated on a full-time basis) in 2017/2018 to be 1,726. This compares with a total of 2,129 in 2016/2017.
This guide explains how your council tax pays for Greater London Authority (GLA) services:
Properties that have stood unoccupied and substantially unfurnished for at least 2 years are subject to a 150% council tax charge from 1 April 2015.
If you think there has been a mistake calculating your bill, or that your home is in the wrong valuation band, please see Council Tax Appeals.
You might be entitled to a reduced bill depending on who lives in the property: see Council Tax Discounts and Reductions.
Some types of property are exempt from council tax: see Council Tax Exemptions.
If you are on a low income you may be entitled to Council Tax Support.
Local Taxation Section
London Borough of Merton
PO Box No 559
Account or billing enquiries: 020 8274 4904
Summons enquiries: 020 8274 4905 or 8545 3468
Fax:020 8545 3960
We are no longer able to attend to personal visitors at the Civic Centre. You can email us anytime or telephone between 9am and 5pm.
This page was last updated on Tuesday 7 March 2017