Rugby Council raises tax to fill hole in government funding - The Rugby Observer

Rugby Council raises tax to fill hole in government funding

Andy Morris 28th Feb, 2018 Updated: 28th Feb, 2018   0

TAX bills in Rugby will rise by nearly £80 per year.

Rugby Borough Council (RBC) announced it would raise its share of Council Tax by £5 for the year for an average Band D property – less than the maximum three per cent increase permitted by the government.

But with Warwickshire County Council and Warwickshire Police having already announced hikes of £60 and £12 respectively, average bills in Rugby will rise by £77 to £1,780 a year.

The rise in RBC’s share will allow the council to maintain all its services during the coming financial year, amid a continuing drop in government funding.

The revenue support grant the council received from central government for 2018/2019 was £358,000, compared to £511,000 for 2017/2018 – a drop of 30 per cent.

Approving the 2018/19 budget on Tuesday (February 27), RBC councillors agreed to allocate £240,000 to provide accommodation for residents who are temporarily homeless, the rent for which will be paid for by the Department for Work and Pensions via Housing Benefit and Universal Credit.

They also committed to continue allocating £150,000 collected from business rates on out-of-town retail parks to support the town centre economy.

A £180,000 refurbishment of Rokeby play area was given the go-ahead, £150,000 will be used to make safety upgrades to other play areas and open spaces, and £130,000 will be allocated to make street furniture such as benches and litter bins more disability-friendly.

Council leader Coun Michael Stokes said: “With our central government grant reducing year-on-year I am pleased that we have once again been able to protect all of our services by reducing our costs and finding alternative sources of funding.

“Our trading activity for example, both with other public authorities and with the private sector, is an increasingly important income stream that allows us to keep costs down for tax payers.

“No-one welcomes a tax rise, but I hope that residents will agree that by providing its services for less than eight pence for every pound of council tax collected, Rugby Borough Council offers exceptional value for money.”

The amount of council tax for a typical Band D property in 2018/19 will be:

– Warwickshire County Council: £1,363.68

– Warwickshire Police: £203.98

– Town area or Parish Council: £73.01

– Rugby Borough Council: £139.36

– Total: £1,780.03

Bills will be sent to all taxpayers during the week beginning March 5.

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