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Rise in county's council tax not yet ruled out
A RISE in council tax charged by County Hall has not been ruled out by the authority’s leader.
No decisions have yet been made, but councillor David Finch said Essex County Council would look at the option “extremely carefully”.
Senior county councillor John Jowers had hinted during a Tiptree Parish Council meeting a rise of 1.9 per cent could be on the cards for next year.
A Band D home currently pays £1,086.75 to the county council in council tax each year, in addition to levies set by district and parish councils and Essex Police.
If the county council's tax demand increased by 1.9 per cent, it would mean a rise of £20.65 on its levy.
Mr Finch said: “The services we provide will cost £2.2billion this year and less than a quarter of it comes from council tax.
“We have managed to freeze council tax bills for three years in a row, but councils across the country are going to have to look at whether it can be sustained, given continued reduction in funding.
“In Essex, we are faced with having to make at least £215million savings over the next three years.
“Introducing any increase to the council tax is a difficult decision to take and we haven’t taken it yet, but it’s something virtually every council will be looking at extremely carefully.
“What is important is we talk to people in the county about those decisions, about what we spend, howwe spend it and how we fund those services, which is what our Let’s Talk campaign has been about.”
Spending plans are usually presented and voted on by cabinet in early January with the budget being formally passed by the full council in February.
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