Merton Council

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Guide to council tax and spending on services

How your council tax is calculated and how it is spent

On this page:

What is council tax?

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, the Council also collect an amount of Council Tax on behalf of the GLA, and households within three quarters of a mile of Wimbledon Common are required to pay an additional levy for Wimbledon and Putney Commons Conservation.

Council tax 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.


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
B £40,001–£52,000 7/95 £1,100.81
C £52,001–£68,000 8/9 £1,258.07
D £68,001–£88,000 9/9 £1,415.33
E £88,001–£120,000 11/9 £1,729.85
F £120,001–£160,000 13/9 £2,044.36
G £160,001–£320,000 15/9 £2,358.88
H £320,001 upwards 18/9 £2,830.66

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

The charges, including the GLA precept, are listed on the Council Tax Charges and Bands page.

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


2017/18 £


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

1102.25 1,135.31 3.0%
GLA precept 276.00 280.02 1.5%

Merton Band D incl GLA exc. WPCC

1,378.25 1,415.33 2.7%
WPCC 26.97 28.61 6.1%

Merton Band D inc WPCC & GLA

1405.22 1433.94


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.

How Merton pays for services

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, 33% goes to central government and 37% 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 is Council Tax calculated?

  1. we plan our services for the coming year and work out how much they will cost to provide
  2. 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%)
  3. 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

The table below shows the main sources which provide the money we plan to spend on services in 2017/2018.

Funding sources




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
Budget requirement 137119 100.00% 635.10

* based on estimated population of 215 900 in 2017 (sourceL: ONS)

Medium Term Financial Strategy (MTFS)

Merton’s Medium Term Financial Strategy sets out details for the next four years.

Spending on services provided by Merton

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 Income£000s Net expenditure £000s

Gross expenditure


Income£000s Net expenditure £000s
Corporate Services 13986 (132,628) 11358 144032 (133 167) 10 865
Children, Schools and Families 221 663 (166 480) 50 183 224 583 (172 004) 52 579
Environment and Regeneration 66794 (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
Levies 928 0 928 932 0 932
Investments and provisions 25 979 (28 981) (3002) 13880 (25106) (11 226)
Planned expenditure 538 298 (401383) 136915 537 607 (396 955) 140 652
Contribution to/(from) reserves 1 693   0 (1693) 0 (3 533) (3 533)
Net requirement for tax purposes 539 991 (401 383) 138 608 537 607 (400 488) 137 119
Public Health 11 897 (11 481) 416 10 948 (10 948) 0

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.

2016/17 £

2017/18 £

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.

Taking into account debt maturing and current capital expenditure proposals, it is expected that this will reduce to £113m at 31 March 2018.

The interest charges arising on this amount are financed from the council’s resources.

People employed

We estimate the number of staff we will employ (calculated on a full-time basis) in 2017/2018  to be 1,726. This compares with a total of 2,129 in 2016/2017.

Greater London Authority services

This guide explains how your council tax pays for Greater London Authority (GLA) services:

Your Council Tax and the Greater London Authority (2017-18)

Empty Homes Premium

Properties that have stood unoccupied and substantially unfurnished for at least 2 years are subject to a 150% council tax charge from 1 April 2015.

Reductions, appeals and support

If you think there has been a mistake calculating your bill, or that your home is in the wrong valuation band, please see Council Tax Appeals.

You might be entitled to a reduced bill depending on who lives in the property: see Council Tax Discounts and Reductions.

Some types of property are exempt from council tax: see Council Tax Exemptions.

If you are on a low income you may be entitled to Council Tax Support.

See also

Contact us

Local Taxation Section
London Borough of Merton
PO Box No 559

               Account or billing enquiries: 020 8274 4904
               Summons enquiries: 020 8274 4905 or 8545 3468
Fax:020 8545 3960

We are no longer able to attend to personal visitors at the Civic Centre. You can email us anytime or telephone between 9am and 5pm.

This page was last updated on Tuesday 7 March 2017

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