Council Tax

You are exempt from paying council tax while you are stationed here. Once you find a house, you will need to inform your local council (ask your landlord/property manager) that you are moving in. They will probably send you a form to fill in and you will have to send in a copy of your orders so they know how long to expect your exemption to be. The housing office will also be able to help you out.

If you are wondering what council tax is, it is like state tax but you pay for it on a regular basis.

It is based on the value of your home. So there bands on of council tax that are for certain areas so the council values certain home sizes at certain levels. So more expensive areas pay more and other pay less. So when locals are renting or buying a home, they have to ensure that they can afford the mortgage or rent and the council tax. It is paid in 10 installments. You are also able to get an exemption of paying if you are on benefits or a low income, disabled, a student and other reasons where you may either get a discount or not have to pay at all. It is paid on a monthly basis and the money goes to the running of the council such as picking up rubbish, paying for school, the police and paying salaries for the staff that work there.

If you want to look up the council tax band  to see what you would have to pay yearly, first go to this website to see what band your house is. Than go to your council's website for council tax and you can see how much the locals are paying or you would be if you were not exempt. These do make a huge difference, I have moved from a D to a C and now saving £150 per year!

You are exempt because the US Government pays the money in a different way. I have tried to see how much is paid into the local community to recoup the councils for the loss of income but the council and the bases were not able to provide me with the details of this. Forest Heath District Council is one of the worst performing councils in the local area and has had a bit controversy especially when councils are having to make more and more cuts but required to provide the same services and not getting the income they require to do so.. Here is a local piece in the EADT24.

So I would say that you should shop more offbase to help the local economy because it affects you too.

All the Best!

American to Britain