Laura Sharman 15 January 2018

Council tax has risen by 57% in past 20 years, research shows

Local authorities have been urged to curb council tax increases after new research found rates have risen by 57% over the past 20 years.

The TaxPayers’ Alliance found council tax has risen by 57% in real terms over the past two decades.

The research also found that only six councils cut council tax in 2017-18, with only 17 freezing rates out of the 354 local authorities.

The TPA said that seven years after the council tax freeze scheme in 2010, the number of councils increasing council tax has returned to pre-scheme levels.

John O’Connell, chief executive at the TPA, said: ‘Councils have been raising tax year in, year out for decades, but continue to demand even more. Councillors should remember that council tax is a major burden on residents and a huge contributor to the cost of living.

‘Councils should look to reduce spending before hitting taxpayers with yet another round of painful tax hikes.’

According to the research, residents in Chiltern District Council pay on average the most council tax per dwelling at £1,905.95. Residents in Wandsworth Borough Council pay on average the least council tax at £644.50.

The Local Government Association (LGA) said unprecedented funding cuts had forced councils to increase council tax.

Cllr Claire Kober, chair of the LGA’s Resources Board, said: 'Since 2010, council tax bills have risen less than the rate of inflation, and other key household bills, such as rent and utilities.

'Local government in England faces a £5.8bn funding gap by 2020. Even if councils stopped filling potholes, maintaining parks and open spaces, closed all children’s centres, libraries, museums, leisure centres, turned off every street light and shut all discretionary bus routes they still would not have saved enough money to plug this gap in just two years.'

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