Survey Finds Many English Councils Plan To Increase Tax

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8th November 2013 13:12 - Local Government

Research published by the Local Government Choice Chronicle suggests that almost a third of all English councils plan to increase council tax in the next year despite a government cash incentive to freeze it – Conservative-run county councils are the most likely to be considering a rise.

Among the 154 councils who responded to the survey, half (53%) said they would accept the extra government funding on offer – equivalent to a 1% council tax rise. However, a third (32%) said they would not accept the funding and were considering a rise – likely to up to 1.9% since a rise of above 2% requires a referendum.

Nine of the twelve county councils, who responded to the Local Government Chronicle survey, said they would reject the extra government funding – two said they would accept the funding and agree to freeze prices for two years. One did not know.

David Hodge, Chairman Of The County Councils Network And Leader Of Surrey County Council, said:

“Central government has a choice - they can either support councils in meeting growing demand pressures via direct support or by giving councils the flexibility to raise taxes locally.”

Local Government Minister Brandon Lewis said he would "encourage every council" to take up the offer of funding, which would be paid in financial years 2014-2015 and 2015-2016.

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