Lincoln councillors back 2.93% tax hike

This story is over

Senior councillors at City of Lincoln Council have backed a plan to increase council tax by 2.93% for 2019/20.

It would see the authority increase the rate for an average band D property from £267.03 to £274.86.

The city council is also looking for further 1.9% increases over the next three years.

It means the overall tax bill for a band D property, including Lincolnshire County Council and Police and Crime Commissioner, will be £1,808.64.

Meanwhile, city council officials said the authority will need to make £5.25 million worth of savings a year from 2020/21. More than £4 million of these savings have been indentified so far.

Officers have increased the target in the face of uncertainty over future funding from central government.

City of Lincoln Council Leader, Councillor Ric Metcalfe

Council leader, Ric Metcalfe, said the move was a “modest increase” which the council has to make to provide services.

“We have to in times of significant restraint by governemnt use every opportunity to maximise our income,” he said.

“We don’t raise very much in council tax because our share is only about 15% of what people pay, most of people pay will go to the county council.

“We think it’s a modest and sensible thing to do because we are absolutely desperate to maintain the good services that the council provide.”

The authority’s budget proposal, including council tax, will go before a full council meeting for final approval in March.

Councils across the region are looking at other avenues of income in the face of funding cuts from government.

Local authorities are expected to see a further reduction in their revenue support grant, the main source of funding from Whitehall.

Meanwhile, both Lincolnshire County Council and the region’s Police and Crime Commissioner have already approved their council tax proposals.

The county council backed a tax hike of 4.95% last week as the authority leader, Martin Hill, said it faced “uncetain times” over funding.

Lincolnshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner, Marc Jones, approved an 11% increase in the rate last month.

SUBSCRIBE TO LOCAL DEMOCRACY WEEKLY, our exclusive email newsletter with highlights from our coverage every week and insights and analysis from our local democracy reporters.