Increase in council tax is planned for the next financial year

RISING: Household tax bills to rise
RISING: Household tax bills to rise

A LOCAL authority is expected to raise its council tax for the first time in five years as it faces a £23m cut in Government funding for the coming financial year.

Durham County Council’s cabinet will meet next week to hear plans to increase council tax by 1.99 per cent.

This is the maximum allowed before a referendum is called on the rise.

A report to the cabinet meeting, which meets on Wednesday, February 12, says: “A two per cent council tax increase would generate additional council tax income of £3.29m in 2014/15 which is £1.25m more than the freeze grant option.”

If approved, it would mean a rise of 33p a week for the majority of council tax payers in County Durham, who live in Band A properties.

The proposal comes after Local Government Secretary Eric Pickles tried to lower the cap for planned council tax rises before a referendum is required to 1.5 per cent, but was blocked by Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg.