Lincolnshire

Senior Lincolnshire county councillors back 4.95% tax hike

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Leading Lincolnshire county councillors have supported plans to increase council tax by 4.95%, blaming a drop in government funding for the move.

Lincolnshire County Council’s Executive backed the budget plans which will also include savings of £23 million and using just over £14 million of the authority’s reserves at a meeting on Tuesday, February 6.

The proposals will now go before Full Council later this month for final approval.

The planned 4.95% rise includes a general 2.95% council tax increase, which is just under the 3% maximum before the council would have to hold a referendum.

Lincolnshire County Council is also able to add a further 2% to the council tax bills to cover its responsibilities in delivering adult social care.

Band D properties will be asked to pay around £58 more a year, increasing from £1,173.42 to £1,231.47.

Despite this substantial tax hike, figures from the County Councils Network have shown that the county council will only raise £2.5 million from the extra 1% on council tax.

This is nowhere near enough to offset a reduction of £11.2 million in its core funding in 2018-19.

Councillor Martin Hill acknowledged that critics would characterise the budget proposals as ‘pay more, get less’, but said the proposals were necessary because the council’s income was reducing and demand on services increasing.

He said: “The bottom line is that we’ve got increased demand and we’re getting reduced income to deal with that increased demand.

“We’ve got to make up the balance by using reserves and unfortunately increasing the council tax.

“Our council tax will still be one of the lowest in the country even after this increase.”