Council tax bills for the 2013/14 tax year have been dropping through Preston letterboxes this week.
Although it is never good to receive demands for money this year there is good news and bad news. The bad news is Preston council have increased their portion of the council tax receipts.
While Local Government Secretary Eric Pickles accused English councils of “cheating their taxpayers” by increasing local taxes in defiance of a national council tax freeze Preston Council decided to raise their demand by a ‘small’ 2%.
To be fair, Preston has suffered badly from government cuts said to be 10.8% down on funding provided during 2012/13. The increase is said to be only an additional 10p a week on a Band D rated property and the council has promised saving of £1m for the year.
The itemised annual cost to Band D taxpayers makes interesting reading. Did you know you pay over £21 to local councillors but only around £15 towards the Harris Museum and almost £13 to city planners but only £6.61 towards economic regeneration?
From your yearly council tax contribution Preston council gets 17% of the money.
The good news is Lancashire County Council, who you pay at least 69% of your council tax towards, reduced its part of the bill by 2%.
The County Council has also been hit by a reduction in government funding but are still providing support for 600 schools, care for 20,000 older folk and maintaining 4,000 miles of road in the Lancashire area as well as plans to go ahead with extensive superfast broadband coverage.
Out of their total spend of £1,907 in Lancashire 54% comes from government funding and 46% from council tax payments.
What is the effect of the good/bad news? Well, hopefully your council tax demand for this year shouldn’t have changed much from last year. A little ray of sunshine? Sure.
Have you received your council tax bill? What do you think of the amount you have to pay? Let us know in the comments below