Nearly 2,500 council employees received pay packages worth more than £100,000 last year, a report claims.
Pressure group the Taxpayers' Alliance (TPA) Town Hall Rich List ranked the top 20 council executives with the biggest pay packages in 2017-18 and listed Slough and Birmingham councils in the top three.
However, local authorities defended the pay packages and stressed that salary was only part of the total, which also included redundancy and pension payments.
TPA figures showed 2,454 council employees had pay packages higher than £100,000 in 2017-18 and 608 council employees earned more than £150,000.
A total of 28 council employees received pay packages higher than £250,000 in 2017-18.
Slough Borough Council topped the TPA list of "highest remunerated" bosses, with interim chief executive Robert Parkin receiving a payment of £595,077 before leaving the position in December 2017.
Individual cases were confidential, a Slough Borough Council spokeswoman said, but she stressed that the figures were being "presented completely out of context".
She said: "These figures don't just involve almost a full year's salary, but also pension contributions and redundancy payments, all of which, in Slough's case, are only what is contractually and statutorily mandated."
Birmingham City Council was ranked third for a payment of £444,775 to its strategic director of major programmes and projects.
A council spokeswoman said the vast bulk of the payment was for £319,304 pension contributions.
However, TaxPayers' Alliance chief executive John O'Connell, who campaigns for lower taxes, said the list showed "staggering payouts" were being made at a time when council tax was still rising.
"The average council tax bill has gone up by more than £900 over the last 20 years and spending has gone through the roof," he said.
"Disappointingly, many local authorities are now responding to financial reality through further tax rises and reducing services rather than scaling back top pay.
"Despite many in the public sector facing a much-needed pay freeze to help bring the public finances under control, many town hall bosses are continuing to pocket huge remuneration packages, with staggering payouts for those leaving their jobs.
"There are talented people in the public sector who are trying to deliver more for less, but the sheer scale of these packages raise serious questions about efficiency and priorities."