Council tax was introduced on the 1st April 1993 and replaced the Community Charge or "Poll Tax". The basis of the tax is banded property valuation of dwellings.
In England, the tax is administrated by local borough or district councils.
The council tax charged on a property is composed of two parts: 50% of it is associated with the property and 50% reflects the occupants or owners of the property.
Every household has a liability, although some properties or people may be entitled to discounts or exemptions.
Council tax, National Non Domestic Rates (business rates), and government grants combine to provide the majority of local and county council income. This money is used to provide services such as the police, housing, education, leisure and sporting facilities, transport, refuse collection, environmental services, planning and tourism.
The Government has produced a plain English guide to council tax.