The Prime Ministers insisted that only her party could help hard-pressed families by keeping council tax low.
And she warned that Labour and Lib Dem could cost households an average of more than £100 a year in the local levy.
Speaking in Calverton village hall in Nottinghamshire to kick off the push for town hall polls on May 4, Mrs May said: “Just as Conservatives nationally have worked to a plan to bring down the deficit, while at the same time cutting taxes for working people, Conservatives locally have also found room for sensible savings while keeping council tax bills down.
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“And that matters – under Labour, council tax doubled. “Under the Conservatives, council tax in England has fallen by nine per cent in real terms.
“Locally and nationally, we helped freeze council tax in the last Parliament, and we have given local residents a veto over excessive tax rises.
“And across the country, it is Conservative councils that have been leading the way.
Theresa May claims the Tories are the party for working people
“In 2017-18, Conservative councils across England typically charge £102 a year less on a B and D bill than Labour councils, and £124 a year less than Liberal Democrats councils."
We are the party of people who work hard and play by the rules
Mrs May insisted the Conservatives were now the one party in the UK which had put itself "unashamedly at the service of ordinary, working people".
"As we leave the EU, our Conservative government will act to protect and indeed to enhance workers' rights, and guarantee that in a modern, flexible economy people are properly protected at work," she said.
"These are the priorities of the British people, and they are the priorities of our party. Don't let anyone tell you that Conservatives don't care about working people.
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Mrs May promises to protect workers' rights as the UK exits the European Union In pictures: Theresa May meets with EU's Tusk Thu, April 6, 2017
The two leaders held talks on Brexit negotiations
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European Council President Donald Tusk gestures to members of the media as he leaves 10 Downing street after talks with British Prime Minister Theresa May in central London
"We are the party of people who work hard and play by the rules.
"And for that reason, we must and will ensure that hard work is decently rewarded, and that the rules are properly adhered to by everyone, without fear or favour."
Mrs May used her speech to frame the local elections as a choice between the competence of Conservative councils and the "chaos and disarray" of the rest.
She said the Liberal Democrats were only interested in securing a second EU referendum, Ukip were too divided to stand up for ordinary people while the SNP and Plaid Cymru offered "divisive, tunnel-vision nationalisms".
The Prime Minister accused Ukip of being to divided
Labour had abandoned the centre ground of British politics, she said.
"In fact, when you look at it closely, these local elections present a clear and informative choice.
"The competence of a strong Conservative council, focused on the priorities of local people, keeping local taxes down and delivering high quality local services," said the Prime Minister.
"Or the chaos and disarray of the rest, political parties motivated not by what is best for local areas, but what best for their own partisan political interest, and without a plan for our country or our local communities, just a recipe for chaos and failure.
Theresa May said that parties like the SNP and Plaid Cymru are too divisive
"A Labour Party totally out of touch with the concerns of the British people, which ignores the priorities of local communities and instead indulges its own ideological obsessions."
Local government elections will be held across England, Scotland and Wales, alongside a number of mayoral elections in city regions such as Greater Manchester and the West Midlands.
Election expert Professor John Curtice has predicted a 12-point swing from Labour to the Conservatives, with Mr Corbyn's party at risk of losing control of councils in Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire.