Lincolnshire County Council to put up tax rate by 1.9 per cent

Martin Hill
Martin Hill

Lincolnshire County Council wants to increase tax rates for the first time in four years and has asked people for their thoughts.

The authority has proposed a tax increase of 1.9 per cent for the year 2015/16 on its portion of the tax. The rise would bring in an extra £4.2m for the next financial year and would help make up a shortfall of £67m.

The council has launched a consultation on the plans ahead of a meeting of the executive committee on February 3.

A council spokesman said: “The proposals include a council tax increase of 1.9 per cent.

“We could decide to freeze council tax or increase it by a lesser amount but this would mean reducing our planned level of service to make the necessary savings.

“We could increase council tax by more than 1.9 per cent but this would mean holding a referendum at an estimated cost of £800,000 and placing an increased burden on the council tax payer during what are still difficult times.

“The preferred proposal reflects our fundamental review of our services and budgets and our judgment, subject to consultation, as to the appropriate balance of services and funding.”

In the last four financial years the council has kept its share of the overall council tax bill the same, instead accepting one-off freeze grants from the Government.

A report to the executive committee on January 6 said the grant had been offered again at an equivalent of a one per cent increase. But the 1.9 per cent increase would “maximise funding and lessen any long term impact on funding”.

The council has found further savings of £30m for the next financial year, and will use £33m from its reserves to help make up the £67m shortfall. The final £4m will come from the tax increase.

Council leader Martin Hill (Con) said the increase would put an extra £20 on the annual council tax bill of a band D household.

The full budget proposals can be seen at www.lincolnshire.gov.uk.

l Council leader Martin Hill on the proposals: Page 18