Are you paying the average council tax bill?
NEXT Tuesday is All Fools’ Day, April 1st, and a singularly appropriate time for 2014 council tax bills to become active.
Some might say we have been fortunate to have had such bills frozen for three years but my complaint – if survey figures are accurate – is the manner in which they have resumed for Dorset.
The Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy claims the average council tax rise to be 0.6 percent and that the highest increase of 0.8 percent is in South East England where Band D properties face a bill increase of £11.25.
Well lucky them, laughing all the way to the bank, because down here reality is a lot harsher.
Dorset County Council is among more than 30 councils nationwide hitting its residents with the maximum rise of 1.9 percent, something CIPFA seems to have missed.
Their cosy claim of an average Band D property paying £1,464 for 2014-2015 is ludicrously wide of the mark since Band D properties in Dorset are facing a bill for £1,723.
My home is in Band C and even I will be paying £1,531, nearly £70 more than the claimed Band D average, while the extra £30 I will have to find for 2014-2015 is nearly three times the increase the CIPFA claims is being paid by homeowners in the band above me!
My bill does include the usual elements for Fire, Police and Weymouth and Portland council while CIPFA figures aren’t so clear cut.
Whatever the true national picture, it still means that council tax payers in Weymouth and Portland can consider their bill to be anything but “average” whatever the band.