North Devon Councillors vote to bridge funding gap by increasing council tax

Posted on: 27 February 2019

At a full council meeting on Monday 25 February, councillors voted to increase North Devon Council’s share of council tax by 2.99% in line with inflation.

This will mean a £5.33 increase per year for an average Band D property; the equivalent of 10p per week, although most North Devon residents will pay less than this. This takes the district’s share of the council tax up to £183.35 per year of the council tax bill, which equates to 10% of the overall bill.

This move mirrors similar increases from other councils across the country as they seek to protect and maintain services against a 40% cut in direct Government funding to local authorities since 2015/16. Due to ongoing government cuts, public services have had to make big savings, while continuing to provide vital local services and supporting vulnerable people.

Although North Devon Council collects the council tax, they do not keep all of it, only retaining around 10p out of every £1 collected. Three quarters of council tax receipts continue to go to Devon County Council which has already voted to increase their share by 3.99% which is around £53 on a band D property.

Leader of North Devon Council, Councillor Des Brailey says: “We appreciate that for many households in North Devon, the impact of an increase in council tax may be difficult to manage and the decision to raise it in line with inflation was not taken lightly. Against a backdrop of ongoing grant reductions from central government, our councillors voted on this increase as the only way to maintain our essential services and continue to support the most vulnerable in our community. Whilst it is never an easy decision to make, from the information presented to us, we felt that there was little option but to approve the increase to plug the ever increasing funding gap.”

North Devon residents can opt to pay in either 10 or 12 monthly instalments, by direct debit. If you are on a low income you may be able to claim council tax support. There are also discounts for single occupiers, students and carers. More information is available on the council’s website.

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Posted in: Economy