Approximately 25% of households in Oldham don’t pay council tax.

No shock to anyone that it’s maximum council tax increase for Oldham yet again but just how many households do or don’t pay in Oldham? You would think it’s an easy question to ask but because of the way (for all councils) the number of households and council tax are calculated what you get in Oldham is a huge underestimation of how many don’t pay. The council tax base household count switches to band d equivalent households half way through the calculation which is where the numbers get muddied. So here are the figures as they “officially stand” 98,628 households in Oldham with 10,656 households exempt due to exemptions, discounts and disabled relief leaving 87,972 households. Here’s where the calculation switches so 87,972 households is the equivalent of 69,938 band d households. From these 69,938 households the council tax reduction scheme equals a reduction in paying households of 9,318 band d equivalent. So that’s officially 10,656 households plus 9,318 a total of 19.974 households that don’t pay council tax. Of course because Oldham has lots of terraced houses the 9,318 number for recipients of the council tax reduction scheme is far less than the actual number of households claiming meaning that well over 20,000 Oldham households from the original total of 98,628 don’t pay council tax. As an example of the unequal claim rates across Oldham’s twenty wards Oldham Councils ward profiles show 42% of Coldhurst households receive council tax reduction.

Council tax base figures for 2024/25
Taken from Oldham Council’s ward profile for Coldhurst