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29.01.18

Norwich City residents could be hit by three-pronged £100 tax hike

Residents in Norwich could see their combined council tax increase by an average of nearly £100 a year if three separate tax increases are approved.

The city is affected by tax changes from the county council, city council and the local police and crime commissioner (PCC), which are all putting forward tax hike plans.

Norfolk County Council leader Cliff Jordan said that the authority could potentially raise an extra £4m if proposals to increase tax by 5.99% are approved – a rise of approximately £75 for the average band D property.

In addition, the city council has put forward a 2.01% increase to its own share of the taxes, while there is an ongoing consultation on a 2% rise in PCC duty.

Altogether, the three changes could reach up to nearly £100 for the average band D household, as local services try to cover funding gaps left by decreased central government investment.

Jordan said that the county council had previously planned to make a 1.9% increase in tax, but decided to up the total to 2.9% plus the 3% social care precept, after communities and housing secretary Sajid Javid announced new tax measures in December.

The council leader said residents and councillors should put “serious consideration” into the plans, which could cover some of the rising costs of services and the future 2% public sector pay increase.

“I’ve been very clear about the budget pressures we’re facing and the fact that, so far, the government has not provided extra funding,” Jordan explained.

“Just before Christmas, the government said councils could raise an additional 1% on general council tax. My chief finance officer is advising us to accept this offer, which would add £4m to our budget, every year – easing pressure on our services.”

The full decision of the county council will be announced on 12 February, with the city council set to reveal its decision soon.

Cllr Paul Kendrick, cabinet member for resources at Norwich City Council, commented: “Norwich is a success story and has been for almost 1,000 years. To keep it so, we must build on our successes, anticipate and keep ahead of change – an inevitable part of modern city life – and seize the opportunities available to us.

“How we balance our budgets under increasing financial strain and plan for Norwich’s future in the long term are important issues for everyone who works and lives in the city, as well as its visitors. Please give us your views.”

The final decision on the PCC tax increases are expected in early February, however the initial consultation on plans also included questions on whether residents would accept an hike as high as 12%.

Top image: Whitemay

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