Last updated 26.04.23 15:45
Council Tax is a Statutory Tax levied on occupiers (and some owners) of dwellings within the Council's area and is not a direct charge for individual services received. Collected Council Tax money is paid into a central fund to so that we, Castle Point Borough Council, are able to provide services for the benefit of our community.
It is a common belief held by The Freeman of the Land movement and similar groups that people are only bound by contracts and laws they have consented to. Contract law and alleged rights under common law, however, are not the same as legislation of administration and collection of council tax.
Being a 'freeman' does not exempt you or any person from paying Council Tax and you do not have a choice as to whether you are liable for it.
Liability for Council Tax is determined by the Local Government Finance Act 1992. This statute, created by the Parliament of the United Kingdom which has received the assent of the Crown and subsequent statutory regulations, sets out a local authority's rights to demand Council Tax to fund services and who is liable to pay.
Your liability for paying Council Tax does not depend on, and does not require, your consent or by means of a contractual relationship with the council. Any assertion to the contrary is incorrect and has no legal standing.
We will take recovery action against those who do not pay Council Tax.
In one case, the Manchester Magistrates' court vs McKenzie (2015) case, a self-proclaimed individual attempted to use a similar 'freeman on the land' defence in court ended up in prison for 40 days.
If you have concerns regarding the charging of Council Tax, we advise you seek official legal advice, rather than using internet sources which may be misleading or false.
Legislation covering Council Tax is readily available from the GOV.UK legislation website including:
Acts of Parliaments are Statutes which lay out the law. Questions regarding other Acts of Parliament or laws should be directed to a legal professional, not Castle Point Borough Council.
Citing an archaic law does not mean you don't have to pay Council Tax. Using misleading articles and templates on the internet for advice regarding the legality of council tax should exercise caution and seek proper legal advice before attempting to use them as a defence against council tax liability based on contract, consent and common law.
Whilst we make every effort to answer relevant enquiries about Council Tax, we reserve the right to refuse a response to lengthy enquiries that focus on hypothetical arguments with no basis in statute, which take up our time and resources at the expense of other taxpayers.
Common law frequently asked questions
For more information about Council Tax legality, please go to our further information page.