frequently asked questions

When Council Tax bills are issued, residents often write or telephone us asking questions regarding Council Tax. You will find below questions and answers, based on current residents’ enquiries. If you don’t find an answer to your particular query, please email counciltax@runnymede.gov.uk and we will not only answer your query but may place it in the following section to help others.

Q.1 Who sets the Council Tax?

Council Tax is set annually by Runnymede Borough Council, Surrey County Council and Surrey Police Authority. The Council act as the collecting agents for Surrey County Council and the Police Authority.


Q.2 What am I paying for?

Surrey County Council and Surrey Police Authority provide leaflets that accompany your annual Council Tax bill each year. The information supplied informs you of the services they provide.

Runnymede Borough Council also provides leaflets each year, despatched with your bill, which give details of budget and financial information and the services provided. These include services such as: Leisure Services, Day Centres, Parks, Refuse Collection, Street Cleansing, grants to voluntary services such as Age Concern and CAB, monitoring pollution control and CCTV cameras (this is not an exhaustive list).

Q.3 Can I appeal against the increase?

No, but if you are on a low income or receive state benefit you may be entitled to Council Tax benefit. Further information is available on our website at www.runnymede.gov.uk. Details can also be obtained from the Benefits Helpline on 01932 425388.

Q.4 How do I contact Surrey County Council and/or Surrey Police Authority?

You can contact Surrey County Council on 08456 009009 or email contact.center@surreycc.gov.uk

You can contact Surrey Police Authority on 01483 482045 or email spa@surrey.police.uk

Q.5 What should I do if I think my property is in the wrong band?

The Listing Officer at the Valuation Office is responsible for banding all domestic properties. Normally the Listing Officer will only consider a banding appeal if it is made within 6 months of you moving into your property. The grounds for appeal against the banding of your property are restricted to the following circumstances: after demolition, conversion of houses to flats; physical changes in the locality affecting the value of properties (this is not an exhaustive list).

Appeals should be made to the Listing Officer and more detailed information is available from him at West Block, Westbrook Mills, Borough Road, Godalming, Surrey GU7 2SG or telephone 01483 702900. Click here for a direct link into the Valuation Office website: www.voa.gov.uk

Q.6 Why can’t I pay my Council Tax over 12 months instead of 10?

The Government dictates under the ‘Statutory Instalment Scheme’ that Council Tax must be paid in 10 instalment and not 12, the Council has no
discretion in this matter.

Q.7 Why can’t I pay my Council Tax at a date convenient to me instead of the 1st of the month?

The Council has the discretion to determine which months and the day in each month instalments can be paid. Committee Members of the Council,
made the decision that instalments must be paid on or before the 1st of each month, from April to January of each financial year. This is to ensure that the Council has the necessary funds available to meet its financial commitments, such as monthly payments that need to be made to Surrey County Council and Surrey Police Authority.
The Council also needs funds to continue providing services in the Borough, such as leisure services, refuse collection and street cleansing etc.


Q.8 How do I claim a single persons occupancy discount?

If you live on your own or the other residents in your property are under the age of 18 years old or are disregarded then you will normally be entitled to a 25% discount in your Council Tax.

Subject to qualifying criteria, people in the ‘disregard’ groups do not count towards the number of adults living in the property. A 25% discount will apply as long as there is no more than one adult left, after the appropriate people have been disregarded.
Further information regarding discounts and disregarded people can be found in the Discount section under the heading ‘About Your Council Tax.’ Alternatively phone the number at the top of your Council Tax bill and arrange for an application form to be sent to you.


Q9. Why do I receive Reminder notices when I pay my Council Tax every month?

Instalments are due and payable on or before the 1st of each month. If you do not pay on time you will receive a Reminder Notice. The cost of preparing Reminders is substantial and has to be borne by everyone, including prompt payers. No more than 2 Reminders will be sent in any financial year. A Final Notice will be issued if a third default occurs. As a result of this, your right to pay by instalments is lost and the full balance for the year becomes payable within seven days.

Please help us to keep our collection costs down, which will in return, keep the level of Council Tax down.

Q.10 Where can I find details of the Council Tax/Housing benefit scheme?

For more information on Council Tax/Housing benefit you can call in person to our offices or phone the Benefits Service on 01932 425388.
You can download a form from our website at www.runnymede.gov.uk or email us at benefits@runnymede.gov.uk and we will send a form to you. You will need to send the form back to us as soon as possible as the benefit will usually start from the Monday after we receive the completed form.

Q.11 Am I entitled to a reduction in my Council Tax if I have a disability?

If someone in your home uses a wheelchair indoors, or needs a room, or an extra bathroom, or kitchen to meet special needs arising from a disability, subject to meeting qualifying criteria, you may be entitled to a reduction in your Banding, reducing the amount of Council Tax payable. Please contact the direct line shown at the top of your Council Tax bill to arrange for a form to be sent to you.

Q.12 If my property is empty, am I entitled to a reduction?

Council Tax is payable if the property is a person’s sole or main residence. If the property is unoccupied you may be eligible for a reduction. Further details regarding unoccupied properties can be found under Exemptions, Discounts and Empty Homes under the heading ‘About Your Council Tax.’

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