Households across the borough have started receiving their council tax bills for 2019-20.
Residents will find they are paying more council tax, which is levied by local authorities to top up government funding for the services they provide, than they did this year.
In 2019-20 council tax for an average Band D property, the standard measure of council tax, will be set at £1,745.86 – an £87 increase from 2018-19.
Council tax funds police and fire services; transport and highway services including street lighting and cleaning, and road maintenance; waste services; libraries and education services and administration and record keeping.
Your actual council tax bill is made up of various elements. These are all calculated by the local authority and then an overall bill is sent to households.
Knowing where all your money goes and what it pays for can be confusing.
To help you understand where your money is going to, below is a breakdown of how much you will pay in 2019-20 and where your money is going to.
Overall council tax bill by council tax band:
Band A: £1,163.91
Band B: £1,357.89
Band C: £1,551.87
Band D: £1,745.86
Band E: £2,133.82
Band F: £2,521.78
Band G: £2,909.77
Band H: £3,491.72
St Helens Council
The vast majority of your council tax goes to your local authority.
Like in previous years, local authorities have been given permission by government to raise council tax by 4.99% – including a 2% social care precept – from April.
This means almost all local councils in England will increase council tax over the next year.
St Helens Council agreed to raise council tax by 2.99% – the maximum without having to hold a referendum – at its meeting last month, despite objections from opposition councillors.
It has not increased the adult social care precept as it was already raised by 3% in 2017-18 and 2018-19 respectively.
Council chiefs said the rise will help protect “vital services” at a time of “reducing central government support and increasing service demands”.
Here’s how much council tax will go directly to St Helens Council:
Band A: £964.03
Band B: £1,124.70
Band C: £1,285.37
Band D: £1,446.05
Band E: £1,767.39
Band F: £2,088.73
Band G: £2,410.08
Band H: £2,892.10
Merseyside Police and Crime Commissioner
For 2019-20, the government also allowed local police and crime commissioners in England and Wales to double the policing precept on the council tax bill from £12 a year to £24.
In St Helens, an average Band D property will pay a precept of £201.97, which has seen an increase of £24.
The rise in the police precept, which was approved following a public consultation, has funded 40 new officer posts and will save around 40 officer posts that were due to be lost.
Here’s how much council tax will go directly to Merseyside’s Police and Crime Commissioner:
Band A: £134.65
Band B: £157.09
Band C: £179.53
Band D: £201.97
Band E: £246.85
Band F: £291.73
Band G: £336.62
Band H: £403.94
Merseyside Fire and Rescue Authority
Council tax payers also pay a small precept Merseyside Fire and Rescue Authority.
For 2019-20, the cash-strapped authority has also raised its precept by 2.99%.
That means the average Band D property will pay a precept of £78.84.
Here’s how much council tax will go directly to Merseyside Fire and Rescue Authority:
Band A: £52.56
Band B: £61.32
Band C: £70.08
Band D: £78.84
Band E: £96.36
Band F: £113.88
Band G: £131.40
Band H: £157.68
Liverpool City Region Combined Authority precept
For the first time in 2019-20, residents will also pay a Liverpool City Region Combined Authority precept, dubbed the ‘metro mayor tax’.
The combined authority said 96% of the money raised will enable it to develop and deliver its initiatives.
The remaining four per cent will cover the running costs of the Metro Mayor’s office.
Here’s how much council tax will go directly to Liverpool City Region Combined Authority precept:
Band A: £12.67
Band B: £14.78
Band C: £16.89
Band D: £19
Band E: £23.22
Band F: £27.44
Band G: £31.67
Band H: £38
Residents who live in an area with a parish council will also pay a small precept.
All of the precepts will be factored in to the bill you will be sent by St Helens Council.