Tax to rise by four per cent

HOUSEHOLDS in the St Albans district are facing council tax rises of around four per cent in April. People living in the average Band D property will face an annual council tax bill of £1,399 in 2008/9 – with some variations in areas affected by parish co

HOUSEHOLDS in the St Albans district are facing council tax rises of around four per cent in April.

People living in the average Band D property will face an annual council tax bill of £1,399 in 2008/9 - with some variations in areas affected by parish council precepts such as Harpenden and the villages.

This bulk of the money raised by council tax goes to Herts County Council which has raised its share of the bill by 4.45 per cent. The district council has increased its precept by 3.5 per cent and the cost of policing has risen by just under five per cent.

St Albans District Council agreed to its increase at a meeting last week at which Lib Dem council leader Robert Donald said the 3.5 per cent rise was below the Retail Price Index (RPI) of 4.1 per cent. He pointed out that the annual Government grant, which contributes 80 per cent to a council's revenue, had increased by just one per cent.


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Tory councillor Julian Daly criticised the fact that savings had been made by reducing funding to leisure facilities, street cleaning and provision for a cinema in 2008/9. And Labour councillor Roma Mills said she did not support the budget because the rise was above the 3.1 per cent Consumer Price Index (CPI) rate of inflation.

l Council-house tenants are facing an average rent increase of just under seven per cent from the beginning of April. Forty-four per cent of the district's council tenants who don't qualify for housing benefits will see rents go up from between 2.82 and 9.53 per cent.

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