Council Tax and Business Rates Billing Authorities

Council Tax is levied by a wide variety of government bodies, including:

  • County Councils
  • District Councils
  • City Councils
  • Borough Councils
  • Parish Councils
  • Police Authorities
  • Fire and Rescue Authorities
  • The Greater London Authority
  • Regional Combined Authorities
  • Recycling and Waste Authorities
  • National Park Authorities
  • Regional Park Authorities
  • The Environment Agency

Not all of these will apply to every location, but it is almost always the case that there will be two or more authorities entitled to charge council tax on any household.

Irrespective of which bodies levy the charge, the billing and collection is handled by the Principal Authority for the location. The Principal Authority is the Unitary Authority, where one exists, the District council in two-tier locations (Shire Counties), the London Borough in London or the Metropolitan District in other major urban areas.

The billing authority collects council tax on behalf of all the authorities which levy it, including itself, and distributes the revenue accordingly.

Business Rates are set by the national government for England, and by the devolved administrations in Scotland and Wales. The formula for setting business rates is based on a percentage of a notional rental value for each commercial property (the "rateable value"), and then adjusted according to other criteria such as Business Rates Relief.

Like Council Tax, Business Rates are billed and collected by the relevant Principal Authority even though that authority has no control over their levels. At the moment, all business rates revenue is passed to central government which then redistributes it to local authorities via a block grant. This is, however, in the process of being changed, and in future local authorities will keep and distribute business rates revenue among themselves.

This page lists all the billing authorities (Principal Authorities) in Great Britain, grouped by country and type. Northern Ireland is currently not included as we do not have council tax and rateable value data for those locations, but may be at a later date if the data becomes available.

You can also view a full list of all billing authorities in a sortable table of council tax statistics.


Shire Districts

Unitary Authorities

Metropolitan Districts

Outer London Boroughs

Inner London Boroughs