Surrey council tax to increase by 4.99%

A council tax bill with pound coins on it
Council tax bills in Surrey will rise from April

Surrey residents in a typical band D household will pay at least an extra £83.52 in council tax from April.

A rise of 4.99% on the county council's share was approved by councillors on Tuesday, the maximum amount allowed without a referendum.

But the county council rejected plans to ask for a further voluntary contribution from the highest council tax bands to help fund services.

A proposal was put forward by the leader of Surrey's independent members.

Catherine Powell said there were more than 200,000 Surrey households in the highest council tax bands of F, G or H.

'Disposable income'

A £10 contribution from all households in these bands would raise £2m, whereas £100 would raise £20m, the Farnham North councillor said.

She added: "I fully recognise that many residents and many of us in this room will already make contributions in terms of time and money to charities, some very close to our hearts for very personal reasons.

"There are, however, others who, despite the cost of living crisis, do have disposable income."

Her failed amendment, supported by the other opposition parties, was described by the council's Conservative leader as a "last-minute" proposal on a budget which had been through 17 select committee meetings.

'Difficult challenge'

The Liberal Democrat group leader, Will Forster, said the party did not think the county council was doing all it could to "maximise efficiency" and make best use of the funds available to it.

He pointed to planned savings in 2022-2023 of almost £47m, of which less than £28m had been achieved.

Mr Forster added: "In the budget for next year the council has planned for even more, a total of £53.7m.

"Based on past performance, making those savings and closing the budget gap will undoubtedly be a difficult challenge."

A rise of £13 to help fund policing in Surrey was agreed on Friday, while Surrey's 11 district and borough councils are still to set their bills.

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