Rhondda Cynon Taf Council could next week agree the lowest percentage Council Tax rise in its history for the second year running, and one that would compare favourably in comparison with the other Welsh Local Authorities.
While people in some areas of Wales could see a Council Tax increase of up to 5%, a proposed increase of 2.25% will be considered by Rhondda Cynon Taf’s Full Council on Wednesday, March 1, as part of its revenue budget strategy for 2017/18.
Every Council in Wales is expected to increase Council Tax costs as they set their budgets and, based on initial indications, the percentage increase put forward in Rhondda Cynon Taf would be the second-lowest in Wales, if agreed.
The proposal is below the 2.5% figure modelled in the Council’s six-week budget consultation which launched in November 2016.
The 2.25% figure equates to a 38p per week rise for a person living in a Band A property – making up 43% of the County Borough’s properties. It equates to 58p per week for someone living in a Band D property.
Councillor Andrew Morgan, Leader of Rhondda Cynon Taf Council, said:
“The budget gap we face for 2017/18 is better than expected following the favourable settlement from the Welsh Government – but there is still a gap to fill.
“Residents were invited to have their say on the Council’s 2017/18 budget during a consultation during November and December, which included five town centre road shows and an opportunity for people to ‘set their own’ budget online.
“From the events I attended most people accepted a Council Tax rise is understandable, but clearly they all wanted it to be kept to a minimum. Most people cited a 3% rise or less was reasonable.
“The proposed 2.25% increase would be the lowest Council Tax rise in the County Borough’s history, and a smaller percentage rise than almost every other Local Authority in Wales based on indicative budgets for 2017/18.
“Council Tax contributes to around 20% of the Council’s income and goes towards running the vital services we provide to the community. The council gets the other 80% of its funding directly from Welsh Government, through the Revenue Support Grant.
“It is important to remember that this proposed rise equates to a 38p cost rise per week for 43% of properties in the County Borough.
“We recognise that everyone is struggling and we have tried to keep each Council Tax rise as low as possible – and I believe we will achieve this once again if the proposal is agreed by Full Council on Wednesday, March 1.”