April 01, 2005

Driving Up the Cost of Living

We got our new Council Tax bill yesterday.

Council Tax is like property tax, only everyone pays it, even if you rent. Properties are grouped in bands. We are in the second lowest band.

Though we have moved house a couple of time since we got married, we are in the same band as the first place we rented. In that time - almost exactly five years (for several months after we were married we lived in the rented room/house share that Mrs H already occupied) - our Council Tax bill (which includes separate charges for the police, fire, and local parish [a poltical subdivision, not the C of E church] has increased by 50%.

It used to be that Band "B" cost 60 a month. It is now 94 ($180) a month. The Shire's Council claim this year's increase is the smallest in history.

The only part of it that hasn't increased it the tiny parish charge. The 11.28 for the year has actually gone down by 33.4% this year. Strangely they've had to virtually shut down our excuse for a local library.

Posted by david at April 1, 2005 12:36 AM

As much as I like England this kind of entry makes me realize how good some things are in the States. Sorry about the bill.

Posted by: The young fogey at April 1, 2005 03:26 PM

Tonight I saw my Dad's council tax bill - (he lives 30 mins away in Wales.) He lives in a band 'D' property (E is the most expensive band). His bill is 4 less than ours for the year. There has been lots on the news lately about the re-banding in Wales and how so many homes have been put in a higher band. I have a lot less sympathy now.

Posted by: Mrs H at April 1, 2005 08:56 PM

Renters in Minnesota pay property tax - there's a peculiar form called the "Property Tax Refund" which one files to reclaim the excess of one's property taxes which were previously paid by the landlord. People from other states think that sounds funny, & maybe it is.

Of course, part of any renter's rent goes to property tax, when you think about it. I don't know whether MN property taxpayers are really getting a better deal with the "property tax refund" or if it's all just smoke & mirrors.

Posted by: Michael at April 1, 2005 10:30 PM