Freeman on the Land and challenges to the legality of council tax
The Freeman on the Land movement and similar groups commonly believe that people are only bound by the contracts and laws they have consented to.
However, contract law and alleged rights under common law are not the same as legislation relating to the administration and collection of council tax.
You do not have a choice as to whether you are liable for council tax and being a ‘freeman’ does not exempt anyone from paying council tax.
In the UK, liability for council tax is determined by the Local Government Finance Act 1992. This statute, created by a democratically elected 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 council tax is not dependent on, and does not require, your consent or the existence of a contractual relationship with the council.
Any such assertion to the contrary is incorrect and there is no legal basis upon which to make this argument.
Anyone who withholds payment will have recovery action taken against them.
In extreme cases this could even lead to committal proceedings, or even a prison sentence, as in the Manchester Magistrates’ court vs McKenzie (2015) case, where an individual who attempted to use similar ‘freeman on the land’ defences in court ended up in prison for 40 days.
If you have any concerns over the charging of council tax, please seek proper legal advice, rather than relying on internet sources or forum statements which may be incorrect or misleading.