Local Government Finances

By Alejandro Beltran

Project description

Local governments provide a wide range of services within their areas. Financing these services is a constant issue as subnational governments across the world continue to accumulate responsibilities without a proportional ability to generate their own revenue. In order to better compare differences in taxing capacities and spending responsibilities between neighbouring local governments, this project presents various visualizations that facilitate that comparison. It relies on data from distinct sources to build a more complete picture of how local authorities in the UK mind the gap between spending and taxing.


  • DLUHC local authority data is difficult to manipulate and scattered across various spreadsheets of varying file formats.
  • Tracking what subnational government is responsible for services and taxes is a challenge because of devolution, fragmentation, and service aggregation.
  • Can we map taxing responsibilities to better understand nuanced differences between bordering local authorities?


  • Build a time series of local authorities and their revenue accounts, local council tax receipts, and national non-domestic tax rates.
  • Merge population data to facilitate comparisons.


Time series

  • Example of time series comparison between neighbouring councils.

Map of Local Authorities in England

  • Example of an interactive visualization.


  • Still need to homogenize revenue accounts over space and time.
  • Need to better understand how council tax and nndr move through local authority coffers.
  • Need better local council tax data, the live tables need more detail.



Pre-print (forthcoming)


Online repository (forthcoming)