Reading really does have the highest council tax in Berkshire, we can reveal.

The Reading Conservatives have claimed in their materials that tax payers in the borough pay more council tax than any of their Berkshire neighbours.

The Local Democracy Reporting Service has found that this is accurate after comparing Band D tax levels.

However, because the majority of properties in Reading Borough are Band C or lower not all people in Reading have to pay the higher rates.

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Council tax calculations can be complicated, as the tax can be raised to pay for five separate services called precepts.

The tax is raised by borough councils, the police, the fire service and is taken to pay for adult social care.

Council tax is also collected by parish councils to pay for the services they provide.

Reading Borough is the only area in Berkshire which is not divided into parishes in the same way.

After looking at total tax amounts for all six Berkshire areas, Reading Boroughs was found to be the highest.

The total amount is reached by adding up tax the council charges, plus the amount raised for police, the fire service, adult social care and parish councils where appropriate.

You can see the areas that pay the highest amount of tax in Berkshire in the table below:

It is understood these are the areas which pay the highest amount of tax in Berkshire, apart from the towns of Windsor and Maidenhead, which do not have parishes.

While tax payers in Reading Borough do pay the most in tax, there is not much in it.

Residents in the Reading suburb of Woodley, which is Wokingham Borough, are only £48.26 ‘better off’ when it comes to taxes than those in Reading Borough.

In their communications, the Reading Conservatives state that people in Reading currently pay the highest rates in Berkshire.

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However, Jason Brock, the leader of Reading Labour, responded by pointing out not everyone in Reading pays that higher amount.

He said: “The average property in Reading is band C or lower, so people in Reading will actually pay less in cash terms.

“You have got to look at what people are actually paying.

“In Reading, around 70 per cent of properties are band C or lower.”

He then cited Government figures for the average council tax per dwelling 2022/23.

When taking the average council tax paid into account, people in Wokingham Borough end up paying more, as there are more properties which are rated Band D or above.

Therefore, while it is true that tax payers in Band D properties do pay the most in Reading Borough, the average amount of tax paid is actually lower in Reading, according to Government data.