Council funding and spending

How council services are paid for and how your Council Tax money is spent.

How your Council Tax bill is made up

Your Council Tax bill is made up of several different amounts of money that go to different organisations:

  • Oxfordshire County Council
  • Your city or district council
  • Your parish or town council (in some areas only)
  • Police and Crime Commissioner

The county council element

The Oxfordshire County Council element of your bill is made up of two parts:

  • General council tax used for all county council services, including: highway maintenance; children and adult social care; waste management and recycling; fire and rescue, and libraries
  • The adult social care ‘precept’, which specifically goes towards the rising cost of adult social care services (ASC).

 Council Tax increase limit

  • The government limits the amount that councils can increase Council Tax by without holding a local referendum.
  • The limit is currently 3%. That is why many councils, including Oxfordshire County Council, have increased general Council Tax by 2.99% to be under the referendum limit.

How your money is spent (excludes schools)

We provide 80 per cent of the local government services by expenditure in the county, including adult and children’s social care, some education services, fire and rescue, libraries and museums, roads, trading standards, waste disposal and recycling.

For 2019/20 the council has set an overall gross budget of £799.9m (£788.5m in 2018/19). The figures below show broadly how we plan to spend our £600.3m gross expenditure budget (excluding schools) on services (£583.9 in 2018/19).  We spend £199.6m on schools which is funded by a government grant.

Area Percentage
Adult and children's social care 53%
Education and learning 14%
Highways and transport 9%
Public health improvement and prevention services 6%
Capital borrowing costs 5%
Waste disposal and recycling 6%
Fire and rescue and community safety 5%
Libraries, cultural, registration and coroner's services 2%

Where the money comes from

Area Percentage
Council Tax 63%
Central government grants 20%
Business rates 12%
Income from fees and charges 5%

Council tax increase

Our council tax increase in council tax for this year is 2.99% (due to rounding this appears as 3% on your bill)

Council tax rates

Council Tax Band Property Values Band D Proportion 2018/19 2019/20 Change
A Up to £40,000 6/9 £950.79 £979.22 £28.43
B Over £40,000 and up to £52,000 7/9 £1,109.26 £1,142.42 £33.16
C Over £52,000 and up to £68,000 8/9 £1,267.72 £1,305.63 £37.91
D Over £68,000 and up to £88,000 9/9 £1,426.19 £1,468.83 £42.64
E Over £88,000 and up to £120,000 11/9 £1,743.12 £1,795.24 £52.12
F Over £120,000 and up to £160,000 13/9 £2,060.05 £2,121.64 £61.59
G Over £160,000 and up to £320,000 15/9 £2,376.98 £2,448.05 £71.07
H Over £320,000 18/9 £2,852.38 £2,937.66 £85.28

The table above shows only the county council portion of your bill. The appropriate district, parish and Police and Crime Commissioner Council Tax will need to be added to give the total Council Tax charge.

Oxfordshire County Council is required to set a Council Tax charge as a proportion of the charge for band D properties. The Council Tax band of a property is not related to its current market value. This is because, by law, Council Tax valuations are based on the price a property would have fetched if it had been sold on 1 April 1991. General price movements in the housing market since that date are not, therefore, reflected in the Council Tax band a house is in.

Adult social care responsibilities

The Government requires all councils with adult social care responsibilities to publish the text below on their Council Tax information webpage.

“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.”

Oxfordshire County Council has increased the Adult Social Care Precept by the maximum allowed from 2016/17 to 2018/19, therefore there is no increase in the Adult Social Care Precept in 2019/20.

The Adult Social Care Precept will still be shown as a separate line on the council tax bill as prescribed by the Government in the Council Tax (Demand Notices) (England) Regulations 2011 as amended in 2017.  The calculation for Council Tax is shown in the following table:

Council Tax Band 2018/19 General Council Tax 2018/19 ASC Precept 2018/19 Total Council Tax 2019/20 2.99% General Increase 2019/20 0% ASC precept Increase 2019/20 General Council Tax 2019/20 ASC Precept shown on Council Tax Bill 2019/20 Total Council Tax Total Increase from 2018/19 - 2.99%
  (a) (b) (c) (d) (e) (f) (g) (h) (i)
      (a) + (b) (c) x 2.99% (c) x 0% (a) + (d) (b) + (e) (f) + (g) (h) - (c)
A £881.81 £68.98 £950.79 £28.43 £0.00 £910.24 £68.98 £979.22 £28.43
B £1,028.79 £80.47 £1,109.26 £33.16 £0.00 £1,061.95 £80.47 £1,142.42 £33.16
C £1,175.75 £91.97 £1,267.72 £37.91 £0.00 £1,213.66 £91.97 £1,305.63 £37.91
D £1,322.72 £103.47 £1,426.19 £42.64 £0.00 £1,365.36 £103.47 £1,468.83 £42.64
E £1,616.66 £126.46 £1,743.12 £52.12 £0.00 £1,668.78 £126.46 £1,795.24 £52.12
F £1,910.60 £149.45 £2,060.05 £61.59 £0.00 £1,972.19 £149.45 £2,121.64 £61.59
G £2,204.53 £172.45 £2,376.98 £71.07 £0.00 £2,275.60 £172.45 £2,448.05 £71.07
H £2,645.44 £206.94 £2,852.38 £85.28 £0.00 £2,730.72 £206.94 £2,937.66 £85.28

The Environment Agency - flood defence levies

We pay a flood defence levy of £0.6m to three regional flood committees of the Environment Agency.

The Environment Agency is a levying body for its Flood and Coastal Erosion Risk Management Functions under the Flood and Water Management Act 2010 and the Environment Agency (Levies) (England and Wales) Regulations 2011.

Flood defence money is spent on the construction of new flood defence schemes, the maintenance of the river system and existing flood defences together with the operation of a flood warning system.

The majority of funding for flood defence comes directly from the government, but where there are schemes which do not attract central funding, the agency raises income in the form of a local levy. The local levy is shared on the basis of the equivalent number of Band D dwellings between all contributing bodies within the committee area.