At the special Budget Meeting of the Council last Thursday (28th February 2008), a Council Tax rise of 4·99% was Voted for by the Conservative Group unanimously, voted against by the Labour Group (although they had no alternative proposals to offer) and the Liberal Democrats didn't support the Budget, though they did propose two amendments, one of the three options of the first of which was accepted by the ruling Conservative group.
As usual, the coming year's budget was against a backdrop of the perennial Government severe underfunding plus yet more additional costs imposed on local authorities by that same Government, but with only partial funding. This year, the so-called floor damping wheeze that steals money from well-run councils such as ours had risen by a further million pounds to no less than five-and-a-half million.
The resultant Band D Council Tax will be £1041·48 plus precepts—an increased payment from the current year of just 95 pence per week. This remains the next to lowest overall Council Tax of any unitary authority in the country, and the lowest of any local authority in Kent (district plus county) by a fair margin, typically at least £150, and lower than the national average by more than twice that!
Here are the actual amounts for each Charging Band for 2008–2009, without any precepts (which vary from area to area):
|Band A :||£||694·32||—||Band B :||£||810·04|
|Band C :||£||925·76||—||Band D :||£||1041·48|
|Band E :||£||1,272·92||—||Band F :||£||1,504·36|
|Band G :||£||1,735·80||—||Band H :||£||2,082·96|