Do you live in Norwich? Here's how much your council tax bill is going up by
PUBLISHED: 21:35 26 February 2019 | UPDATED: 08:32 27 February 2019
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People in Norwich will pay 2.99pc more in council tax to City Hall in the year ahead.
Labour-run Norwich City Council tonight (Tuesday, February 26) set its £16.8m revenue budget for 2019/20.
The 2.99pc increase will add £7.67 more a year to the portion of council tax bills which goes to the city council for a Band D property.
It would be less for most homeowners, as the bulk of city properties are band A (a £5.12 increase) or B (£5.96 increase).
The council says the increase is needed to prevent cuts to services and would bring in £275,000.
And Paul Kendrick, Labour’s cabinet member for resources said: “This is a sound and balanced budget which will endure throughout the next financial year.”
City Hall is facing a shortfall of £12.4m by 2023/24 and has dipped into £1m from reserves for this year’s budget.
The Greens, who did not table an amendment to the budget, criticised the proposed use of £25m to invest in commercial properties to generate cash.
Green councillor Ben Price said he was concerned at the risks around such investments, which have previously included a gym in Kent and a cold store in Corby.
He said: “Such income can be volatile and dependent on external factors like the health of the national and local economy.
“It must be recognised that as markets become less predictable, properties which may have had a high rentable value in the past may not in future, as High Streets decline and traditional industries die.”
But Mr Kendrick said: “We have been a commercial landlord for decades, it is with that experience that we have been able to recently invest in buying new properties which has provided half a million pounds in rents for this year’s budget.”
Lib Dem leader James Wright said it was the fault of the Conservative government that the authority was having to increase council tax.
Council tax bills in the city are split between the city council, Norfolk County Council and Norfolk’s police and crime commissioner.
Norfolk County Council agreed, earlier this month, to increase its share of the bill by 2.99pc.
Meanwhile, Conservative police and crime commissioner Lorne Green opted for an increase of more than 10pc.
Taken all together, the increases will mean a Band A property in Norwich will have to pay £1,252.97 (an annual increase of £47.42) a Band B £1,461.79 (£55.31 increase) a Band C home £1,670.62 (up £63.22) and a Band D home £1,879.45 (up £71.12).
Band E properties will be charged £2,297.11 (up £)86.93, Band F £2,714.76 (an increase of £102.73), Band G £3,132,42 (£118.54 more) and Band H £3,758.90 (a hike of £142.24).
Councillors also agreed a council tax reduction scheme, which helps people on low incomes and certain welfare benefits to pay their bills.
Karen Davis, Labour’s cabinet member for social inclusion, said: “I would be prepared to bet that, this year, we are the only council in the country to retain the 100pc council tax discount, retain the local discount provision for care leavers and residents absent from a main dwelling due to domestic abuse - and to create provision for a local discount of 25pc for three months for liable persons where they give a home to an asylum seeker or refugee who has no ability to work.”