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Your Council Tax 2020-21

Find out what your Council Tax pays for and how your bill is calculated.

Most of the Council Tax we collect from you is used for services that are provided by Kent County Council, Kent Police and Crime Commissioner and Kent Fire & Rescue Service plus some is used by the parish and town councils.

Find out about the Kent Police and Crime Commissioner precept increases for 2020/21 on the Kent Police and Crime Commissioner website.

Find out about the Kent Fire and Rescue Service increases for 2020/21 on the Kent Fire and Rescue Service website.

Only 10 per cent of what you pay is used to fund borough council services, which is an average of 50p per day.

What you get for 50p a day

  • Cleaner streets
  • Recycling and Waste collection
  • Community safety and CCTV
  • Parks and play areas
  • Leisure centres and sports activities
  • Summer events and festivals
  • Planning and building control
  • Environmental, health and safety inspections
  • Food hygiene ratings for local food businesses
  • Assembly Hall Theatre
  • Gateway – our one stop shop
  • Online services – from paying bills to reporting
  • Fly-tipping removal
  • Museum & art gallery
  • Running elections
  • Housing Needs Service
  • Licensing of taxis and premises
  • Ice rink
  • Visitor Information Centre
  • Community grants

Although Council Tax is set locally by democratically elected local members at a public meeting of Full Council, the Secretary of State has the power to set a limit above which a referendum must he held.

For 2020/21 the limits allowed Kent County Council to increase their Council Tax by up to 4 per cent, comprising a core 2 per cent plus an extra 2 per cent provided this is attributable to funding adult social care.

The Kent Police and Crime Commissioner a limit of £10 which is a 5.2 per cent increase over the previous year.

Tunbridge Wells Borough Council has a limit of £5 which is a 2.8 per cent increase over the previous year.

Kent Fire and Rescue Service have a limit of a 2 per cent increase over the previous year.

There are no set limits of increasing Council Tax for Parish and Town Councils.

Our budget is funded from fees and charges, a small share of business rates, Council Tax and zero Revenue Support Grant from the government. This section gives you a breakdown of our income and expenditure.

Tunbridge Wells Borough Council’s financial position remains sound but further significant pressures are ahead.

The level of Council Tax reflects the need to deliver the council’s priorities and statutory services, and to strike the right balance with fees and charges and Council Tax payers.

Local Government shouldered the largest reduction in funding during the period of austerity, as the government tried to reduce the deficit caused by the banking and economic crisis.

For 2020/21 the Council will again receive zero revenue support grant meaning that the ability to fund local services is now dependent on growing the local economy and sharing in the proceeds of business rates growth.

The government has developed a universal benchmark indicator called ‘Spending Power’ to measure the revenue available to provide local services.

We have one of the lowest levels of Spending Power in Kent at just £245 per household and therefore must continue to seek further value for money in the services that are delivered, despite operating in one of the most expensive parts of the country combined with inflationary pressures and a rising population

Your bill will tell you what band you are in and how much you need to pay. Council Tax is calculated based on your band and the area of the borough you live in.

2020/21 Charges

Parish Band A Band B Band C Band D Band E Band F Band G Band H
Benenden £1,205.25 £1,406.15 £1,607.02 £1,807.89 £2,209.63 £2,611.40 £3,013.14 £3,615.78
Bidborough £1,249.77 £1,458.08 £1,666.37 £1,874.66 £2,291.24 £2,707.84 £3,124.43 £3,749.32
Brenchley & Matfield £1,225.51 £1,429.78 £1,634.03 £1,838.28 £2,246.78 £2,655.30 £3,063.79 £3,676.56
Capel £1,226.76 £1,431.24 £1,635.69 £1,840.15 £2,249.06 £2,657.99 £3,066.91 £3,680.30
Cranbrook & Sissinghurst £1,265.89 £1,476.88 £1,687.86 £1,898.84 £2,320.80 £2,742.77 £3,164.73 £3,797.68
Frittenden £1,204.50 £1,405.27 £1,606.01 £1,806.76 £2,208.25 £2,609.77 £3,011.26 £3,613.52
Goudhurst £1,271.49 £1,483.42 £1,695.33 £1,907.24 £2,331.06 £2,754.90 £3,178.73 £3,814.48
Hawkhurst £1,236.97 £1,443.15 £1,649.31 £1,855.47 £2,267.79 £2,680.13 £3,092.44 £3,710.94
Horsmonden £1,237.29 £1,443.52 £1,649.73 £1,855.94 £2,268.36 £2,680.80 £3,093.23 £3,711.88
Lamberhurst £1,219.63 £1,422.92 £1,626.19 £1,829.46 £2,236.00 £2,642.56 £3,049.09 £3,658.92
Paddock Wood £1,280.25 £1,493.64 £1,707.01 £1,920.38 £2,347.12 £2,773.88 £3,200.63 £3,840.76
Pembury £1,240.77 £1,447.58 £1,654.37 £1,861.16 £2,274.74 £2,688.34 £3,101.93 £3,722.32
Royal Tunbridge Wells £1,254.02 £1,463.04 £1,672.04 £1,881.04 £2,299.04 £2,717.06 £3,135.06 £3,762.08
Rusthall £1,253.76 £1,462.73 £1,671.69 £1,880.64 £2,298.55 £2,716.48 £3,134.40 £3,761.28
Sandhurst £1,257.21 £1,466.77 £1,676.30 £1,885.83 £2,304.89 £2,723.98 £3,143.04 £3,771.66
Southborough £1,260.62 £1,470.74 £1,680.84 £1,890.94 £2,311.14 £2,731.36 £3,151.56 £3,781.88
Speldhurst £1,218.89 £1,422.05 £1,625.20 £1,828.34 £2,234.63 £2,640.94 £3,047.23 £3,656.68

Who decides the banding?

The council doesn’t set the bands, these are set by the Valuation Office Agency.

If you think that your band is wrong or want further details about your banding please contact the Valuation Office Agency.

The banding of a property is based on what its open market value was on 1 April 1991.

They are follows:

Valuation band Range of property values
A up to £40,000
B £40,001 - £52,000
C £52,001 - £68,000
D £68,001 - £88,000
E £88,001 - 120,000
F £120,001 - £160,000
G £160,001 - £320,000
H more than £320,000

Check your band

12 monthly payments

Council Tax is normally spread over 10 monthly instalments, if you wish to pay your bill over 12 monthly instalments please go to: Our "change your bill frequency" page.

Direct Debit

Paying by secure Direct Debit is the simplest and easiest way to pay your bill.

  • You can pay over 10 or 12 monthly instalments, pay the full amount in one go or pay half yearly
  • Sign up online and choose either the 1st or 15th of each month to make your payment.
  • You will need your bank details and your Council Tax account number.

Set up a Direct Debit


You can pay your Council Tax securely through our online payments site.

To make a payment online you will need:

  • A debit or credit card (Visa and Mastercard only)
  • Your nine digit Council Tax account number

Pay online

Telephone payments

Payments can be made securely on our automated telephone payment line.

Telephone: 0800 023 7086

Please follow the prompts to make your payment. You will be given a transaction number when your payment is successfully completed.

Bank Transfer / Standing Order

You can make payment through your own online banking by transferring payment to the council's account or by setting up a regular standing order.

Please ensure you quote your nine digit account reference number on all payments.

Our bank details are:

Bank: Lloyds Bank
Account name: Tunbridge Wells Borough Council
Sort Code: 30-00-02
Account Number: 01396914 
IBAN: GB02LOYD30000201396914

Cash payments

Cash payments can be made using the payment kiosk in the Tunbridge Wells Gateway.

Cheque payments

Cheques should be made payable to Tunbridge Wells Borough Council.

Please ensure you quote your nine digit account reference on the reverse of the cheque.

Allocation of Payments

If you have outstanding Council Tax arrears for a previous year, and your payment does not match the amount outstanding on the current year, your payment may be allocated towards the arrears rather than where you intend. You'll need to contact us to let us know which year your payment is for.