Government releases two draft referendums concerning council tax increases

posted on 16 January 2020, updated on 17 January 2020
The Government has released two draft reports concerning council tax referendum principles for local authorities for 2020/21.

The Referendums Relating to Council Tax Increases (Principles) (England) Report 2020/21 explains how the proposed referendum principles strike a balance between giving local authorities the flexibility to address service pressures, without overburdening council tax payers with excessive increases. Local authorities will therefore be able to increase council tax in 2020-21 by a core principle of up to 2%, without holding a local referendum. 

Shire district councils will have a bespoke council tax referendum principle of 2% or £5, whichever is higher. In addition, councils with adult social care responsibilities will be able to increase their council tax by a further 2%, on top of the core principle, to be spent exclusively on adult social care. If confirmed, this package will mean that the expected average council tax increase for 2020-21 will be the lowest since 2016-17.

The Alternative Notional Amounts report allows specified authorities to make like-for-like comparisons between their 2020 to 2021 council tax decisions and those taken in 2019 to 2020, for the purposes of determining whether their increases are excessive. 

The local authorities affected by this publication are Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole Council, and Somerset West and Taunton Council.

You can also find both draft reports on the website.

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