Council tax

All enquiries about council tax payments for East Sussex should be made to your local district or borough council.

If you're not sure which district or borough council to contact, find out here:

What does it pay for and who pays it?

Council tax helps to pay for services provided by East Sussex County Council, Sussex Police, East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service, district and borough councils, town and parish councils.

It should be paid on most domestic properties, including caravans and houseboats. Usually the residents (owners or tenants) are liable to pay it but there are some exceptions. A more detailed analysis of council tax liability is available from the Citizen's Advice Bureau:

How is it calculated?

The amount of tax you are charged depends on which valuation band your property lies in based on 1991 values, even if the property is newer than this. These are as follows:

Band A – up to £40,000
Band B – £40,001 to £52,000
Band C – £52,001 to £68,000
Band D – £68,001 to £88,000
Band E – £88,001 to £120,000
Band F – £120,001 to £160,000
Band G – £160,001 to £320,000
Band H – £320,001 and above

All valuations are calculated by the Valuation Office.

How can I pay?

You don't generally have to pay your whole council tax bill at once. Many people choose to spread the cost throughout the year, paying their bill in monthly instalments.

District and borough councils offer different methods of payment, including:

  • cash
  • cheque
  • direct debit.

Online payments may also be available. Please see district and borough websites, or your council tax bill, for full details.

Discounts

You may be eligible for a discount if you are:

  • the only resident aged 18 or over living in the property
  • a long term patient in a hospital or residential home
  • severely mentally impaired

or your property may be exempt if:

  • everyone living in the property is a student
  • it is vacant
  • it is a crown property.

Other exemptions and discounts apply – full details are available via district and borough websites, above.

Council Tax Reduction

Council Tax Benefit will no longer exist from 1 April 2013, instead you can apply for Council Tax Reduction.

Those on low or fixed incomes, and with limited savings, may be eligible for Council Tax Reduction to cover part, or even all, of their council tax bill. More details are available via district and borough council websites, above.

Appeals about your Council Tax Reduction

If you think the amount of Council Tax Reduction you have been awarded is wrong, you have a right of appeal. In the first instance you should write to your local district and borough council telling them what you think is wrong.

Appeals about your Council Tax Property Band

Please see our page on council tax appeals – challenging your property banding.

What if I have difficulty paying my council tax?

If you are having difficulty paying all or part of your council tax bill, then contact your district or borough council as soon as possible. The sooner you let them know about your problems, the more they will be able to help.

You may also find useful information on our page about financial help and advice.

What happens if I don't pay?

If you don't pay then your council will initially issue you with a reminder – telling you when payment is due and how much you owe. For more about non-payment of council tax see the Citizen's Advice Bureau.

Moving house

It is important that you contact your district or borough council tax office if you are moving into, out of or within the area. Contact details for all district and borough council tax offices are available on their websites, above.