Council tax income increased by £3.1m in Scarborough last year

Scarborough Borough Council’s income from council tax increased by £3.1 million last year, new figures show.

Friday, 1st March 2019, 11:45 am
Scarborough Council raised £59.2 million from council tax between April and December last year, latest figures said.

The Local Government Association, which represents councils in England, said “unprecedented cuts” were driving council tax rates up across the country.

In Scarborough, the council raised £59.2 million from council tax between April and December last year, according to the latest figures from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government.

This was an increase of 5.5% compared to the same period during the 2017-18 financial year, when it collected £56.1 million.

Across England, council tax income increased by 6.4% over the same period, climbing to £25.2 billion for the nine-month period.

The average council tax bill for a band D property in Scarborough increased by 2.8% between 2017-18 and 2018-19 – lower than the average 5.1% increase seen across England.

In addition, fewer low-income households are claiming a discount on their council tax, with the number of claimants falling from 10,536 to 10,315 last year, a drop of 2%.

A spokesman for the LGA said: “Councils do all they can to keep council tax as low as possible but, faced with unprecedented funding cuts, are increasingly being left with no choice but to increase it to help fund vital services.

“Councils will be asking people to pay similar levels of council tax this year while at the same time warning communities that the quality and quantity of services they enjoy could drop.”

Local authorities face a funding gap of £8 billion by 2025, he added, warning that the Government’s upcoming Spending Review would be “make or break” for local services.

The Taxpayers Alliance has rejected the claims, however, saying councils across the country are wasting money on high salaries, parties, and PR departments.

Chief executive John O’Connell said: “Household budgets are under strain and hard-pressed families simply cannot afford these sharp increases to their council tax bill.”