Tuesday, 10 March 2009

'Max The Tax'

Council Tax disputes continue to enflame political debate across Berkshire as opposition parties have warned residents that rises are set to continue as the economy spirals downwards and borough revenues suffer, while suggestions continue that any below-inflation rises in council tax will be offset by massive increases on various charges such as parking fees, burial charges and miscellaneous fines.

Here is a round-up of the headline amounts residents across the county can expect to pay in Council Tax for 2009/10 for Band D properties (as calculated according to local house prices between 1991 and 1994):

£1,305.50 +4.9% - Bracknell Forest
£1,467.43 +3.99% - Reading
£1,335.19 +4.9% - Slough*
£1,490.28 +3.9% - West Berkshire**
£1,277.05 +1.9% - Windsor & Maidenhead***
£1,434.55 +4.68% - Wokingham

*excluding local parishes

It should also be added that house prices vary according to area and cannot make accurate comparisons, consequently tax levels are adjusted to account for the proportion of properties in each band in different local authorities.

Therefore a better form of comparison are the average annual figures of Council Tax payable per household across Berkshire for 2009/10 [1]:

£1,237 - Bracknell Forest
£1,190 - Reading
£1,087 - Slough
£1,436 - West Berkshire
£1,386 - Windsor & Maidenhead
£1,482 - Wokingham


Notes: The average level of Band D Council Tax for all unitary authorities across England in 2009/10 will be £1,413.85, which represents a mean average rise of 3.0% and compares to the average Band D rate in 2008/09 of £1,373.08, a rise of 3.9% from 2007/08. Rises are capped at 5%.

The adjusted annual rate of inflation fell from 3.1% to 3.0% in the first two months of 2009.

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