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Posted 10th Oct 2013

Council Tax to rise from 2014 – you will decide how much by

Buckinghamshire County Council (BCC) will be increasing the amount of Council Tax it charges residents from the start of the next tax year, April 2014. This increase will either be 2%, 4% or 5%, and BCC are consulting the public on which amount they want the increase to be.

Buckinghamshire County Council has seen its funding cut by over 40% in the last 4 years, and faces a further 24% cut in the coming 4 years, measures that have led to this increase in Council Tax. The council will hold a county-wide public referendum in May 2014 to ratify the plans for a Council Tax increase, something they must do for any increase of over 2%.

In its budget consultation document, BCC outlines that a 2% increase in Council Tax would force cuts to services, excluding those to the most vulnerable; a 4% increase would safeguard most of their main services, as would a 5% increase. Spending on road repairs is prioritised regardless of the rate that Council Tax rises, something Martin Phillips, Cabinet Member for Community Engagement, said he knew was a top priority for residents.

This is an opportunity for the local business community to put forward a strong voice for what it wants its money to be spent on. What are the issues that matter most to your business? Where do you want your money to be spent? Do you want to safeguard continued economic growth and support for local businesses? The consultation document allows you to choose which areas of public spending you would like to safeguard, so make sure you have your say on this extremely vital issue.

Fill out the budget consultation here, where you can also read a more detailed analysis of what your Council Tax is spent on and the effects of each possible rise. The deadline to respond to this consultation is Monday 2nd December 2013.

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