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Council tax bills going up across Kent 2019/20

By Caitlin Webb, local democracy reporter

Residents will feel the pinch as tax bills across the county are expected to rise.

Paying for the police, fire and councils will cost more from April due to a hike in their precepts.

The public bodies have increased tax to make ends meet as funding from central government has been cut since 2010.

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Taxpayers could end up paying £12 more than they did last year
Taxpayers could end up paying £12 more than they did last year

Councils can increase their bills by a maximum of 3% or an additional £5 for the Band D rate.

If the local authorities want to raise this further they must have a referendum.

Kent County Council has approved their almost 5% increase - which includes an approximate 2% rise in social care precept.

Raising their rates will generate an extra £33 million, which will contribute towards the £86m shortfall the council faces.

Most boroughs and districts are also planning to hike their bills by the highest amount possible.

Their budgets are set to be finalised by the end of the month and would take affect from April 1.

Only taxpayers in Swale, Dover and Folkestone and Hythe will not foot a 3% bill rise.

While Folkestone and Hythe is set to be the only council in the county to increase their rate below inflation - at 1.92%.

Swale Borough Council and Dover District Council plan to raise theirs by 2.7%.

Taxpayers elsewhere in the county could be paying up to £12 more than they paid last year.

Even though Ashford Borough Council's Band D could go up by the highest percentage, it would still be the lowest in the county.

On top of all this, the payments towards Kent Police and Kent and Medway Fire and Rescue Authority are due to rise.

Crime commissioner Matthew Scott is adding £24 to the Band D rate to pay for the recruitment of 180 officers
Crime commissioner Matthew Scott is adding £24 to the Band D rate to pay for the recruitment of 180 officers

Kent and Medway Fire and Rescue Authority agreed to increase the KMFRA element of council tax by 2.98 per cent on Tuesday.

Crime commissioner Matthew Scott is adding £24 to the Band D rate to pay for the recruitment of 180 police officers.

John O'Connell, chief executive of the TaxPayers' Alliance said: "Councils always claim they are cut to the bone, but there are still numerous examples of wasteful spending and inefficiencies that still need to be addressed.

"Councillors should remember that council tax is a major burden on residents and a huge contributor to the cost of living, especially for families on lower incomes.

"Councils should look to get better value for money before hitting taxpayers with yet another round of painful tax hikes.”

Council tax bands are determined by the market value of the property in 1991.

Council tax payments towards Kent Police and the Kent and Medway Fire and Rescue Authority are due to rise
Council tax payments towards Kent Police and the Kent and Medway Fire and Rescue Authority are due to rise

This measurement has been criticised for being unfair as residents who live in million-pound mansions pay the same amount as someone with a £320,000 home.

County councillor Martin Whybrow (Green) said: "I think one thing that councils should collectively or individually take up is the reform of the totally bust, regressive council tax model.

"It is scandalous that somebody in a £1m or £2m home pays the same council tax as somebody in a £320,000 home.

"It's not rocket science.

"Firstly you sort out the valuations, that are still stuck at 1991 and secondly you project those bands upwards from H through to Z."

Police precept for Kent and Medway

2019/20

Band A £128.77

Band B £150.23

Band C £171.69

Band D £193.15

Band E £236.07

Band F £278.99

Band G £321.92

Band H £386.30

Kent Fire and Rescue Service

Band Amount

A £51.84

B £60.84

C £69.12

D £77.76

E £95.04

F £112.32

G £129.60

H £155.52

Kent County Council

2019/20 (including Social Care Precept)

Band A £866.28

Band B £1,010.66

Band C £1,155.04

Band D £1,299.42

Band E £1,588.18

Band F £1,876.94

Band G £2,165.70

Band H £2,598.84

Councils

Council tax bills
Council tax bills

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