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Portsmouth City Council's guide to Council Tax for 2021/22 - how much you will pay and how your money is spent.

How much do you pay?

Your council tax is calculated according to the valuation of the property you live in. There are eight valuation bands, and these are calculated according to your property’s market value on 1 April 1991.

Council tax bands for April 2021 to March 2022

wdt_IDBandPortsmouth City Council (£)Hampshire Police Authority (£)Combined Fire Authority (£)Total (£)
1A1,016.58150.9746.951,214.50
2B1,186.01176.1454.781,416.93
3C1,355.44201.3062.601,619.34
4D1,524.87226.4670.431,821.76
5E1,863.73276.7886.082,226.59
6F2,202.59327.11101.732,631.43
7G2,541.45377.43117.383,036.26
8H3,049.74452.92140.863,643.52

Nationally, band D properties are seen as the benchmark in terms of council tax. In Portsmouth residents will pay £1,821.76. But most Portsmouth residents are in band B, and will pay £1,416.93 or less.

We don’t want you to struggle paying for council tax, and there are discounts available for some households. If you are on a low income it is also worth asking if you qualify for council tax support.

How your council tax is divided across services

wdt_IDCouncil PortfolioGross Expenditure (£000)Income (£000)Net Expenditure (£000)
2Children, Families & Education149,63393,20456,429
3Communities & Central Services110,96085,68025,280
4Community Safety5,5122,7602,752
5Culture & City Development17,5644,45213,111
6Environment and Climate Change15,2581,50613,752
7Health, Wellbeing and Social Care102,07847,63254,446
8Housing & Preventing Homelessness12,6735,2517,422
9Leader17,67843,38625,708
10Licensing Committee776903127
11Planning, Policy & City Development4,5153,2861,229

Council tax

Council tax is a property-based charge with only one bill for each household. The amount you pay is decided by how much your house was worth in April 1991.

Discounts

The full council tax bill is due when there are two or more adults living in a property. If only one adult lives there, we will reduce the bill by 25%. This is called a single person discount.

You could get a 25% or 50% discount even when there are two or more adult residents, and an exemption may apply in some cases – see the exempt homes section below. The following people are not counted when we decide on the number of adults living in a property:

  • Full-time students and some student nurses
  • Apprentices and youth trainees
  • Patients resident in hospital or people who are being looked after in care homes
  • People who are severely mentally impaired
  • People staying in certain hostels or night shelters
  • 18 and 19-year-olds who are at school or who have just left school
  • Care workers working for low pay (usually for charities)
  • People caring for someone who is not a partner, or a child under 18
  • People aged 18 or over for whom Child Benefit is paid
  • Foreign language assistants who are registered with the Central Bureau
  • The wife / husband /dependent of a student who is not a British citizen and who cannot take paid employment or claim benefits
  • Diplomats and senior officials of international organisations and their husbands or wives
  • Members of visiting forces and certain international institutions
  • Members of religious communities
  • People in prison (except for those in prison for non-payment of council tax or a fine).

Exempt homes

There is no charge to pay while a home is left unoccupied by:

  • People in prison
  • Long-stay hospital patients or residents in a care home or hostel
  • People receiving or providing care
  • The owner, because they are away studying
  • Someone who has died but probate has not been granted or no letters of administration have been made (the property can remain exempt for up to six months after the grant has been made).

The following homes are also exempt:

  • An unoccupied home owned by a charity, where the last occupation supported the charity’s objectives (this is exempt for up to six months)
  • A home unoccupied because the law says it must not be occupied
  • An unoccupied home kept for ministers of religion
  • A caravan pitch or a houseboat mooring not occupied by a caravan or boat
  • An unoccupied property that forms part of another property, such as an annexe that cannot be let separately.

Homes that are left unoccupied are exempt if:

  • They have been repossessed by the mortgagee
  • They are the responsibility of a trustee in a bankruptcy.

Certain types of homes are exempt even though they are occupied:

  • Student halls of residence
  • An annexe, if it is occupied by an elderly or dependent relative
  • Armed forces’ accommodation owned by the Ministry of Defence
  • Visiting forces’ accommodation.

Some properties are exempt because they are occupied only by people who are:

  • Full-time students
  • Under 18
  • Severely mentally impaired

For more information about claiming a discount, reduction or exemption, visit our council tax discounts page 

If your bill shows we have given you a discount or reduction, you must tell us within 21 days of any change of circumstances that affects your discount or reduction. If you do not, you may have to pay a penalty.

Appealing against your council tax valuation band

You can appeal to have your home put into a lower valuation band, but only in certain situations.

Please note that council tax bands are based on property values as at 1 April 1991. Recent purchase prices therefore are not necessarily the best evidence. Rebanding will not take place if the increase or reduction in value is relatively small and is not enough to move the property to another band.

If you wish to make an appeal you should write to the Valuation Office Agency, not to Portsmouth City Council.  The address is as follows:

Listing Officer Council Tax West
Valuation Office Agency
Overline House
Central Station
Blechynden Terrace
Southampton
SO15 1GW

You can contact the VOA on this government website 

If you do decide to appeal against the valuation band of your property, please remember that you must keep your council tax paid up to date.

Empty homes

  • Where homes are unoccupied and substantially unfurnished, Portsmouth City Council will apply a discount of 0%. You will need to pay full council tax
  • If a dwelling is unoccupied and substantially unfurnished, requiring or undergoing structural alterations or major repair works to make it habitable, a discount of 0% will be granted. You will still need to pay full council tax
  • Where a property remains unoccupied and substantially unfurnished for a period of two years or more, the City Council has decided to charge an empty homes premium of the relevant maximum in addition to the full Council tax charge.
  • The relevant maximum for the financial year beginning 1 April 2021 is 100% for dwellings that have remained unoccupied and substantially unfurnished for a period of less than 5 years.
  • The relevant maximum is 200% for dwellings that have remained unoccupied and substantially unfurnished for a period of at least 5 years.
  • The relevant maximum is 300% for dwellings that have remained unoccupied and substantially unfurnished for a period of at least 10 years.
  • Homes that are empty and furnished will be charged 100% of the bill; this includes second homes.

Reductions for disabled people

You may be entitled to a reduction in your council tax if you have:

  • A room (other than a bathroom, kitchen or toilet) that is needed for a disabled person
  • An extra bathroom or kitchen that is needed for a disabled person
  • Enough floor space indoors to allow a disabled person to use a wheelchair.

Universal Credit

If you are claiming Universal Credit, you need to claim council tax support separately. Help with your council tax is not covered by Universal Credit.

Council tax support

You can get money off your council tax bill if you or your partner pay council tax and you are on a low income. This is called council tax support.

The amount of help depends on your income, the size of your family, the amount of council tax you have to pay, and whether you are pension age or working age.

Second adult rebate

If you can’t get council tax support based on your income, you may still be able to get help with your council tax if you are the only person responsible to pay it and you have another adult (or adults) on a low income living in your home, not including your partner, joint tenant or joint owner. We work out second adult rebate based on the income of the other adults. Your income and savings do not affect how we work it out

Do you qualify for council tax support?

Visit our website and search for ‘apply for benefits’. You can claim online or contact Revenues & Benefits.

Have your circumstances changed?

If you are currently receiving council tax support and/or housing benefit and you have had a change of circumstances, please let us know.

Revenue spending plans 2021/22

The total Budget Requirement for the City Council for 2021/22 is expected to be £161.3m, this represents an increase in net expenditure of £13.3m compared to the previous year of £174.6m.

Band D equivalent £ p
£000
Budget Requirement 2021/22116,344
Financed by: (Including the Impact of Covid 19)
Contribution to Reserves and Balances2,041
Government Grants43,245
Collection Fund Surplus 31 March 2020(23,373)
Retained Business Rates53,284
Council Tax Requirement 2021/2286,1371,524.87
161,334
Council Tax base57,735.2
  • Budget requirement – The amount of expenditure that is funded by council tax, Business Rates and general support from central government, e.g. revenue support grant
  • Reserves – This is money that each council has set aside to provide services such as rubbish collection and for its day to day running
  • Government Grants – Grants received from Central Government
  • Collection Fund Surplus/Deficit –  Any surplus or deficit on the Collection Fund, as a result of income from council tax/business ratepayers being more or less than originally estimated, and shared between precepting authorities
  • Retained Business Rates – Business rates collected and retained directly by the Local Authority.
  • Council Tax Requirement – The total amount of council tax income the authority has budgeted to use in the forthcoming financial year
  • Tax Base – The number of Band D equivalent dwellings e.g. 1 band B property would pay council tax equivalent to 7/9ths of a band D property. The tax base enables the total council tax yield to be calculated based on the Band D Council Tax by multiplying the equivalent number of band D properties by the band D Council Tax

Paying by credit or debit card

Please ensure that you have your card details and your reference number (shown on your bill) ready.

  • via the internet – available 24 hours a day – visit our website and click on ‘pay’
  • using our automated telephone payment service – available 24 hours a day – please telephone 0800 876 6576 and follow the voice prompts

Contacting us

The quickest way to get information on managing your payments, discounts and exemptions or general information on council tax is by searching ‘council tax’ on our website any time, day or night.

You can contact us at on our contact form on our website 24 hours a day every day or email localtaxation@portsmouthcc.gov.uk

Alternatively you can call between 9am – 4pm Monday to Friday

  • for council tax billing enquiries – 023 9268 8588
  • for council tax support enquiries – 023 9283 4556
  • for council tax recovery enquiries (if you have had court action on your account) – 023 9284 1447

Please be aware that telephone lines will be busy during the annual billing period.