Yeovil Town Council increases its share of council tax bill
Yeovil Town Council has increased its share of the council tax bill by more than three per cent.
This means people living in Band D properties in the town council area of Yeovil will pay an extra £3.08 a year - or less than 6p per week.
At a meeting of the full council last night, councillor Tony Lock, chairman of the Policy, Resources and Finance Committee, blamed Government changes to the benefit system for the increase.
From April, local councils will decide who gets help with their council tax bill, whereas in the past the Government would have paid this.
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The Government has also cut council tax benefits across the country by £500m, which has affected how councils plan their budgets.
This has resulted in the town council losing £12,480 from its net income, councillors heard last night.
Speaking after the meeting, Mr Lock said: "We provisionally set our budget at 1.5 per cent but, because of the Government cuts to the council tax benefits, that left us with a shortfall of just under £12,500 which meant we had to add another 1.9 per cent increase making it 3.4 per cent.
"It was beyond our control. We don't want to do it but we have to do it."
Last week Yeovil Without Parish Council voted to increase its share of the council tax bill to 10 per cent – meaning householders will pay an extra £2.10 a year.
While Brympton Parish Council has increased its precept by four per cent – which equates to an extra 90p a year.
South Somerset District Council, which collects council tax on behalf of all local authorities, will make the final decision on how much residents have to pay when it meets at full council on Thursday, February 21.
The bill will be shared between Somerset County Council, the district council, parish councils and police and fire authorities.
See tomorrow's Western Gazette for the full story.