Council Tax

Council Tax Explained

Council tax levels are set in February each year by full council. Following budget setting, the council is required to publish certain information about council tax when it issues your bill.

Who has to pay council tax

Every household on the Isle of Wight has a responsibility to pay council tax. This means if your home is a house, bungalow, maisonette, mobile home or houseboat and whether you own or rent  or occupy the property.

At least one person in each household is responsible for paying council tax. In most cases this is the person or people aged 18 or over. 

These people are:

  • Owner occupiers.
  • The resident freeholder.
  • Leaseholder.
  • Licensee or tenant.
  • People such as squatters who live in the property but have no legal interest.
  • Married couples, those who live as a couple or those in civil partnerships are jointly responsible for paying the bill.

In the following cases the owner(s) of the property must pay the bill rather than the occupants:

  • If the property is no ones main home,
  • residential care homes, nursing homes and hostels,
  • properties occupied by religious communities and religious ministers,
  • if more than one household occupies the property (House of Multiple Occupancy (HMO)),
  • properties occupied by residential staff,
  • houses for asylum seekers.


How council tax is calculated

This table provides information and explanations on the factors affecting how council tax is calculated.


 Further information

The resources available to and the spending plans for the Isle of Wight Council.

The council receives its funding from a number of sources. It is legally required to set a balanced budget detailing how it plans to spend that funding. View where the councils funding comes from, and how the Council plans to spend it.

The level of council tax set by the Isle of Wight Council.

For 2021/22 the Council is able to have a general increase in council tax of two per cent. Any increase above this level requires a public referendum. How the overall council tax is calculated.

The level of precept charged to support adult social care.

Adult social care authorities are able to charge an additional 'precept' on its council tax to assist the authority in meeting expenditure on adult social care.

The amount charged for the precept is shown on your bill as the cumulative sum since the charge began on 1 April 2016.  Further Information about the Adult Social Care Precept.

The band property you are in.

The value of your property, on 1 April 1991, will have been assessed by the independent listing officer, from the Valuation Office Agency (VOA) a central Government agency. Your property will then have been placed in one of eight bands. Your bill will show you which one. 

If you think the banding for your property is wrong, you will need to contact the Valuation Office Agency (VOA). How to appeal against your property banding.

Please do not contact the council on this matter. 

Charges for local town and parish services.

Your bill includes an amount towards the cost of the parish, town or community council for the area in which you live. Precepts for town and parish councils across the Island.

Spending set independently by the Police and Crime Commissioner for Hampshire.

The element of council tax that relates to the Police and Crime Commissioner for Hampshire will increase by 7.1 per cent in 2021/22.

Information about how this money is spent: precept for the police 2021/2022

Spending set independently by the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Fire Authority

On 1 April 2021, the fire authorities in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight will merge to create a new Hampshire and Isle of Wight Fire and Rescue Authority.

The 2021/22 precept has been set by the new Fire Authority.

The percentage increase will be shown in your council tax bill.

It has been calculated by using an alternative notional amount. To produce a figure that represented how much of the Isle of Wight Council tax paid by residents in 2020/21 related to the provision of Fire and Rescue services on the Island.

This figure has been agreed with the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government.

How the money for the new Fire Authority will be spent.

Reductions, discounts and exemptions

There are a range of discounts, reductions and exemptions which you may be able to apply for. Further information is provided on our council tax reductions web pages.

Discounts for annexes

Annexes can be exempt from Council Tax if they are unoccupied and cannot bet let separately from the main dwelling, or they are occupied by a dependant relative.

Annexes that are not exempt from Council Tax.

Annexes that form part of a main dwelling, being used by the person(s) liable to pay council tax for that dwelling. As part of the main property or is the sole or main residence of a relative of those person(s). You may be eligible to a further 50 per cent reduction in council tax liability on top of any existing discount.

Information about reductions for annexes can be found on our Discounts web pages.

Discretionary Reductions

To discover if you qualify for this reduction, please visit our Discretionary Housing Payment Scheme web pages.

Print or download the Council’s discretionary Reduction in liability policy .

Section 13A of the Local Government Finance Act 1992, inserted by section 76 of the Local Government Act 2003 

This gave councils new powers to create their own discounts and exemptions, including powers to grant relief on a case by case basis of between 1 per cent & 100 per cent. Any discount given has to be met by the council.

The council has the power to agree discounts but is not obliged to do so as Council Tax is a tax related to property. It is not directly to the provision of any specific services.

It is not appropriate therefore, to relate the cessation, reduction or non-provision of any specific services or facilities to the payment of Council Tax.  

Further information is provided on our Council Tax Reductions discount web pages


Local Council Tax Support

From 1 April 2018 the maximum help available to those on the Working Age Scheme is limited to a maximum of sixty five percent of your liability. Then further restricted to a maximum Band C valuation if your property is band D or above.  Details of the changes to the Working Age scheme are available at:

If you are in receipt of;

  • Income support,
  • jobseekers allowance,
  • employment support allowance,
  • pension credits,
  • universal credit,
  • other state benefit 
  • low income,

You may qualify for Local Council Tax Support. 

If your joint capital. For example: savings or investments, exceeds £6,000 you are unlikely to qualify for support from the main scheme. Unless you are of Pension Credit age where the limit is normally £16,000.

Any application form for Local Council Tax Support should be completed without delay to avoid loss of support. Entitlement is normally considered from the Monday following the date a claim is received.

An online application can be found using the Customer portal Housing benefit applications.

Second Adult Rebate

This is a form of Local Council Tax Support that is only available to those claimants who have attained the qualifying age for State Pension Credit.

This may be available to council tax payers who share their home with someone on a low income but who do not have a partner or a paying lodger. 

It may be payable even if the council tax payer has a high income themselves and would not normally qualify for any benefits or Local Council Tax Support.

Please note: if you are eligible for Housing Benefit but are not entitled to Local Council Tax Support, you are responsible for making a further claim for Local Council Tax Support. If your income reduces you may become entitled to some assistance.

As Local Council Tax Support is normally considered from the Monday following the date a claim is received you must log your intention to claim. You will need to complete a new application for Local Council Tax Support immediately. 

Full details of the Local Council Tax Support scheme for 2020/21 and previous years can be found at:


How to pay your council tax

By law we have to ask you for money and by law you are expected to pay your council tax. Failing to pay on time costs the council thousands of pounds each year. This can have an adverse effect on the following years bills and could affect the ability to provide council services.

In addition, failing to pay on time may result in additional costs being charged to you. We try to make paying the bill as easy as possible. We offer various ways in which you can pay, including an option to pay over twelve instalments from April to March.

These options are outlined in our find out how to pay your council tax web pages.

How to get your bill in an alternative format

If you need your bill issued in an alternative format such as large print or braille please contact us by:

Telephone: 01983 823901