January 14, 2021 12.56 pm This story is over 8 months old

Lincoln council tax to rise by almost 2%

To partially fill a budget gap of £1.75m

The City of Lincoln Council is proposing a 1.9% tax hike and a series of cost-cutting measures for 2021-22 in the face of financial uncertainty around the pandemic.

City of Lincoln Council’s executive committee will also look at proposals to increase allotment charges and council house and garage rents.

Council bosses predict a budget gap of £1.75 million and said it must close the hole to ensure its financial sustainability.

The 1.9% rise will take city council’s share of council tax for a Band D property in Lincoln to £285.39 – an increase of £5.31.

Allotment charges proposed at the same meeting will see most tenants pay between £58.70-£78.30 per year from 2022 an increase of between 38p and 51 pence per week.

Council housing rent will increase by an average of 1.5%, while council garage rents are proposed to increase by 3%.

The authority said it faces a number of ongoing challenges caused by the coronavirus pandemic and requires a substantial reduction in all of its budgets.

“Although closing a gap of this size is a huge challenge, it is not unprecedented, and the council should have the confidence that it has a track record of delivering strong financial discipline and that it can rise to the challenge once again,” said a report to the council.

“However, as a result of the previous level of savings delivered and with a reduced number of alternatives from which to deliver reductions, the council is left with little option but to revert to a more traditional cost cutting measures approach in order to deliver the scale of reductions required within the short lead in time.”

The council has saved more than £9 million annually over the past decade, however will have to increase savings by £850,000 next year, rising to £1.75 million by 2023/24.

Due to the pandemic’s impact on government funded reliefs, empty properties and business closures, the authority estimates it will only retain £5.1 million of the £42 million of business rates generated  in the city.

The report says the council will “ultimately have to make some difficult decisions” over the next year.

Once approved the draft budget will go to consultation and return before the council later this year.

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