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, we also collect an amount of council tax on behalf of the Greater London Authority (GLA). Households within three quarters of a mile of Wimbledon Common are also required to pay an additional levy for Wimbledon and Putney Commons conservation.
Charges and bands
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.
|Band||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.
What council tax helps pay for
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:-
- Spending on local services, such as education, waste collection, green spaces, and care services including levies, which the Council is required by statute to pay to the Environment Agency, the London Pension Fund Authority, and Lee Valley Regional Park.
- Spending on adult social care which is ring-fenced and funded by the Adult Social Care precept
- The GLA charge for the services they provide, such as police and fire services which is collected by the Council and passed to the GLA
- 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.
| 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
|GLA precept ||276.00||280.02||1.5%|
Merton Band D incl GLA exc. WPCC
Merton Band D inc WPCC & GLA
Adult Social Care Precept
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 income sources
Our main sources of income are:
fees and charges – charges that we make for services that we provide
business rates – these rates, called National Non-Domestic Rates, are the means by which local businesses contribute to the cost of providing local authority services. We keep 30% of our income from business rates, 50% goes to central government and 20% to the GLA
revenue support grant – a Government grant which can be used to finance revenue expenditure on any service.
collection fund – this is any surplus or deficit from previous year's council tax and business rates
council tax requirement –this is an estimate of the income we'll raise from council tax this year
budget requirement –this is an estimate of what we will spend this year after deducting income raised from services we charge for, government grants and any funding from reserves
How council tax is calculated
- We plan our services for the coming year and work out how much they will cost to provide
- We deduct any income that we expect to receive during the year from fees and charges, government grants and other contributions, and a share of business rates (30%)
- The resulting balance is the amount we need to fund from Council Tax. The Council Tax is calculated by dividing this figure between all properties in the borough, taking into account the different Council Tax property bands
Main income sources in 2017/18 and amount raised per head
|Non-domestic rates ||36519||26.6%||169.15|
|Revenue support grant||16271||11.9%||75.36|
|Collection fund ||1766||1.3%||8.18|
|Council tax requirement||82563||60.2%||382.41|
* Based on estimated population of 215,900 in 2017 (source: ONS)
Medium Term Financial Strategy (MTFS)
You can view our financial plans for the next four years in our
Medium Term Financial Strategy.
The services we deliver
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 ||
Net expenditure £000s |
Net expenditure £000s|
|Corporate Services||143,986||(132,628)||11,358||144,032||(133,167) ||10,865|
|Children, Schools and Families||216,663||(166,480)||50,183||224,583||(172,004)||52,579|
|Environment and Regeneration||66,794||(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)||(3,002)||13880||(25,106) ||(11,226)|
|Planned expenditure||538,298||(401,383)||136,915||537 607||(396,955)||140,652|
|Contribution to/(from) reserves|| 1,693|| 0||(1,693)||0||(3,533)||(3,533)|
Net requirement for tax purposes||
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.
Planned spending for 2017 to 2018
This chart shows the figures in a pie chart from the 2017 to 2018 income and expenditure table
The change in revenue spending from 2016/17 to 2017/18
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.
The estimated number of staff we employ (calculated on a full-time basis) for 2017/2018 is 1,726. This compares with a total of 2,129 in 2016/2017.