In this area, social care is run by North Yorkshire County Council. Councils who run social care services can charge an additional ‘precept’ on the whole charge – separate from the increase applied to general funding.
The County Council must hold a referendum – a local vote – if it wants to increase Council Tax by more than 6%. If the County Council increases Council Tax by less than 6%, then the part of the charge that relates to social care funding must not be greater than 3%.
Subject to approval each year by the House of Commons, the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government intends to offer the option of charging this ‘precept’ at an appropriate level in each financial year. A financial year runs from April to the following March.
The increases are based on a percentage of the County Council’s part of the overall charge for their service last financial year.
For the financial year 2020/2021 the County Council increased its overall charge by 3.99% made up of a 1.99% general increase and a 2% increase for the Adult Social Care Precept. For a band D property North Yorkshire County Council’s basic council tax excluding the Adult Social Care precept was £1243.61. The Adult Social Care precept was £119.86 giving a total of £1363.47.
For the financial year 2021/22 the County Council increased its overall charge by 3.49%, a general increase of 1.99% and a 1.5% increase in Adult Social Care precept. For a band D property North Yorkshire County Council’s basic council tax charge was £1270.74. The Adult Social Care precept was £140.31 giving a total of £1411.05.
The increase in the adult social care for 21/22 is calculated as follows:
£1363.47 (total NYCC charge 2020/21) x 1.5 % increase = £20.45 which is the increase for the social care element for 2021/22.
£119.86 ( 2020/2021 Adult Social Care precept) + £20.45 = £140.31 which is the total adult social care precept for 2021/22.
How much can Council Tax go up by before there has to be a local vote?
Following the introduction of the new Adult Social Care precept, the County Council must hold a referendum if Council Tax is to be increased by 6% or more. Within this there is a limit of 3% for general spending, and 3% linked directly to social care services.
District Councils must hold a referendum if their part of the Council Tax is increased by 3% or more and that increase is more than £5 on a Band D property. This means that an increase of more than 3% is allowed without a referendum vote, providing that the overall increase doesn’t go above £5 for a Band D property.
It’s important to note, however, that by law we must show increases on the bill to the nearest decimal point – which means that a 1.99% increase shows as 2%, a 2.99% increase shows on the bill as 3%.