Merton Council

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Guide to council tax and spending on services

How your council tax is calculated and how it is spent

On this page:

The council tax

Council tax is made up of three parts. The following shows the figures for band D.

2015/16 £ 2016/17 £ Increase/
Net spending on Merton’s local services 1,088.96 1,089.25 0.00%
Spending on levies 13.29 13.00 (2.20%)
Subtotal 1,102.25 1,102.25 0.00%
GLA precept 295.00 276.00 (6.40%)
Total 1,397.25 1,378.25 (1.40%)

How Merton pays for services

The table below shows the main sources which provide the money we plan to spend on services in 2016/2017.

Funding sources £000s % £/head*
Non-domestic rates 35,052 25.30% 164.41
Revenue support grant 23,157 16.70% 108.61
Collection fund 1,479 1.10% 6.94
Council tax requirement 78,920 56.90% 370.17
Budget requirement 138,608 100.00% 650.13

* based on estimated population of 213,200 in 2016 (source: ONS)

Under the localism arrangements and following the introduction of the business rates retention scheme, business rates are shared 50% to central government, 30% to the council and 20% to the Greater London Authority (GLA). In addition, Government Revenue Support Grant is allocated using information on the population, social structure and other demographic characteristics of the authority. Income raised from the council tax is used to fund the balance of expenditure.

Medium Term Financial Strategy (MTFS)

Merton’s Medium Term Financial Strategy sets out details for the next four years.

Spending on services provided by Merton

Merton uses the funds that are raised from Government, businesses and the council tax to finance the costs of services we provide. The amounts we plan to spend on these services in 2016/17 (excluding schools, which are funded by Dedicated Schools Grant), together with comparative information for 2015/2016, is shown below.

2015/16 2016/17
Gross expenditure £000s Income £000s Net expenditure £000s Gross expenditure £000s Income £000s Net expenditure £000s
Corporate Services 146,290 (132,266) 14,024 143,986 (132,628) 11,358
Children, Schools and Families 236,092 (185,198) 50,894 216,663 (166,480) 50,183
Environment and Regeneration 67,689 (43,704) 23,985 66,794 (45,564) 21,230
Community and Housing 89,282 (27,882) 61,400 83,948 (27,730) 56,218
Levies 925 0 925 928 0 928
Investments and provisions 31,329 30,850 479 25,979 (28,981) (3,002)
Planned expenditure 571,607 358,200 151,707 538,298 (401,383) 136,915
Contribution to/(from) reserves (4,991) (4,991) 1,693 0 1,693
Net requirement for tax purposes 571,607 353,209 146,716 539,991 (401,383) 138,608
Public Health 10,047 (9,727) 320 11,897 (11,481) 416

The change in revenue spending from 2015/16 to 2016/17

Revenue spending 2015/16 146.716
Savings in service provision (15.956)
Pay and price increases (net) 1.990
Other corporate adjustments, capital budgets effects, etc. 0.965
Employers NI Changes 1.458
Grants and Other Income 0.547
Appropriations to/(from) reserves 2.888
Budget requirement 2016/17 138.608

The charge and bands

The council tax uses the band D charge as its basis. We work out all other bands from the band D charge as follows:

Band Property value (on 1 April 1991) Proportion of band D charge Council tax
A Up to £40,000 6/9 £918.83
B £40,001–£52,000 7/9 £1,071.98
C £52,001–£68,000 8/9 £1,225.11
D £68,001–£88,000 9/9 £1,378.25
E £88,001–£120,000 11/9 £1,684.52
F £120,001–£160,000 13/9 £1,990.81
G £160,001–£320,000 15/9 £2,297.08
H £320,001 upwards 18/9 £2,756.50

If you live within the area of Wimbledon and Putney Common you pay an extra charge to cover the expenses of the Commons Conservators.

The charges, including the GLA precept, are listed on the Council Tax Charges and Bands page.


Included within our spending plans are levies that we have to pay to certain bodies outside council control. These are as follows:

2015/16 £ 2016/17 £
Lee Valley Regional Park 209,004 203,789
Environment Agency: Flood defences 159,411 162,130
London Pensions Fund Authority 264,295 261,580
Wimbledon and Putney Commons Conservators 292,946 300,042
Total levies 925,656 927,541


Long-term borrowing to fund the capital programme is estimated to be £117m as at 31 March 2016. The capital expenditure proposals currently show that this is expected to remain at £117m at 31 March 2017. The interest charges arising on this amount are financed from the council’s resources.

People employed

The estimated number of staff we employ (calculated on a full-time basis) for 2016/2017 is 2,113. This compares with a total of 2,246 in 2015/2016.

Greater London Authority services

This guide explains how your council tax pays for Greater London Authority (GLA) services:

Your Council Tax and the Greater London Authority (2016-17)

Empty Homes Premium

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.

Reductions, appeals and support

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.

See also

Contact us

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 Wednesday 13 July 2016

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