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
  • An adult social care ‘precept’, goes explicitly towards the rising cost of adult social care services (ASC).

Council Tax increase limit for 2024/25

  • The government limits the amount that councils can increase Council Tax by without holding a local referendum. For 2024/25 the referendum limit is 3%.
  • The government also allows councils with adult social care responsibilities to raise an adult social care precept to help relieve funding pressures.  For 2024/25, councils can increase council tax by 2%.
  • Adding these two elements together the maximum allowed increase for 2024/25 is 4.99%. 

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 2024/25 the council has set an overall gross budget of £1,131 million (£1,033.0 million in 2023/24). The figures below show broadly how we plan to spend our £899 million gross expenditure budget (excluding schools) on services (£826.2 million in 2023/24). 

In addition, in 2024/25 we will spend £232 million on maintained schools.  This covers teachers and running costs, and comes directly from the government

Area Percentage
Adult and children's social care 52%
Education and learning 19%
Highways and transport 8%
Capital borrowing and other financial costs (eg contingency and reserves) 6%
Public health improvement and prevention services 5%
Waste disposal and recycling 4%
Fire and rescue and community safety 4%
Libraries, cultural, registration and coroner's services 2%

Where the money comes from

Where money comes from
Area Percentage
Council Tax 57%
Central government grants 23%
Business rates 11%
Income from fees and charges 9%

Council tax increase

Our increase in Council Tax for 2024/25 is 4.99%. This is made up of a 2.99% increase to 'core' Council Tax and an additional 2% increase to help pay for adult social care.

Council Tax rates

County council portion of your bill
Council Tax Band Property values Band D proportion 2023/24 Council Tax Band 2024/25 Council Tax Band per Section 4.3 of Council Report Increase in total Precept since 2023/24
A Up to £40,000 6/9 £1,156.02 £1,213.71 £57.69
B Over £40,000 and up to £52,000 7/9 £1,348.69 £1,415.99 £67.30
C Over £52,000 and up to £68,000 8/9 £1,541.36 £1,618.28 £76.92
D Over £68,000 and up to £88,000 9/9 £1,734.03 £1,820.56 £86.53
E Over £88,000 and up to £120,000 11/9 £2,119.37 £2,225.13 £105.76
F Over £120,000 and up to £160,000 13/9 £2,504.71 £2,629.70 £124.99
G Over £160,000 and up to £320,000 15/9 £2,890.05 £3,034.27 £144.22
H Over £320,000 18/9 £3,468.06 £3,641.12 £173.06

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 and precept

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 was the option of an adult social care authority being able to charge an additional “precept” on its council tax without holding a referendum, to assist the authority in meeting its expenditure on adult social care from the financial year 2016-17. It was originally made in respect of the financial years up to and including 2019-20. If the Secretary of State chooses to renew this offer in respect of a particular financial year, this is subject to the approval of the House of Commons.

As part of the Local Government Financial Settlement 2021/22 the Government announced that councils could charge up to an additional 'precept' of 3% for 2021/22 and 2022/23.  The council increased the Adult Social Care Precept by 1% in 2021/22 with a further increase of 2% in 2022/23.

As part of the Local Government Financial Settlement for 2022/23, the government announced that councils could charge up to an additional 'precept' of 1% for 2022/23, 2023/24 and 2024/25.

As part of the Local Government Financial Settlement for 2023/24, the government announced that councils could charge up to an additional 'precept' of 1% for 2023/24 and 2024/25.  

The council has chosen to increase the Adult Social Care Precept by 2% in 2024/25. No further information about council tax increases from 2025/26 has been announced by the Government.

Oxfordshire County Council will have increased the Adult Social Care Precept by the maximum allowed from 2016/17 to 2024/25.

The Adult Social Care Precept is 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.

As prescribed the Adult Social Care precept is applied to the county council’s total precept for the previous year.  The increase is then added to the previous Adult Social Care precept total for the relevant band.  The total on the council tax bill is the cumulative amount that has been agreed to be raised through the precept since this was first introduced in 2016/17.

The calculation for each band
Council Tax Band 2023/24 General Precept 2023/24 ASC Precept shown on Council Tax Bill 2023/24 Total Precept 2024/25 2.99% General Increase 2024/25 2% ASC Increase 2024/25 General Precept 2024/25 ASC Precept shown on Council Tax Bill 2024/25 Total Precept Total Increase from 2023/24 - 4.99%
  (a) (b) (c) (d) (e) (f) (g) (h) (i)
      (a) + (b) (c) x 2.99% (c) x 2% (a) + (d) (b) + (e)  (f) + (g) (h) - (c)
A £1,003.78 £152.24 £1,156.02 £34.57 £23.12 £1,038.35 £175.36 £1,213.71 £57.69
B £1,171.08 £177.61 £1,348.69 £40.33 £26.97 £1,211.41 £204.58 £1,415.99 £67.30
C £1,338.38 £202.98 £1,541.36 £46.09 £30.83 £1,384.47 £233.81 £1,618.28 £76.92
D £1,505.67 £228.36 £1,734.03 £51.85 £34.68 £1,557.52 £263.04 £1,820.56 £86.53
E £1,840.27 £279.10 £2,119.37 £63.37 £42.39 £1,903.64 £321.49 £2,225.13 £105.76
F £2,174.86 £329.85 £2,504.71 £74.90 £50.09 £2,249.76 £379.94 £2,629.70 £124.99
G £2,509.46 £380.59 £2,890.05 £86.42 £57.80 £2,595.88 £438.39 £3,034.27 £144.22
H £3,011.35 £456.71 £3,468.06 £103.70 £69.36 £3,115.05 £526.07 £3,641.12 £173.06

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. 

New budget changes

Further detailed information can be found in our new budget changes for 20224/25 - 2026/27 page.