Cabinet approves council tax increase for Dacorum

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Taxpayers in Dacorum will see their council tax increase by 2.71 per cent for 2017/18.

The proposed increase of £5 on a typical band D property, currently £184.83 per year, was approved at a Dacorum Borough Council (DBC) cabinet meeting on Tuesday evening.

This increase is the maximum the council can propose, without the need to call for a local referendum.

Any increases higher than £5 would require a vote from residents – and that would cost the council close to £80,000 alone.

The increase comes as Dacorum is forecast to have around the 15th highest council tax income of the 200 district councils in England in 2017/18.

The council argues, in the cabinet agenda papers, that “this means Dacorum can generate more income locally than most district councils and therefore, can absorb a greater reduction in government funding than most district councils.”

The Council commissioned Opinion Research Services (ORS) to arrange and facilitate a residents’ consultation with a representative sample of Dacorum residents.

The event took place on January 14, and the council’s £5 increase - which it says is aimed at protecting frontline services - was supported by 88 per cent of residents who took part.

But Councillor Adrian England, a Lib Dem ward councillor at DBC for Adeyfield West, said: “I think increasing council tax is the wrong way to go, but the funding needs to increase from central government for the really big issues like social care.

“But increasing the tax has a big impact on some of our residents who don’t earn very much. But until central government increases its funding the local council doesn’t have a lot of choice.”

Although Dacorum Borough Council collects the council tax, it keeps only 12p of every £1 it collects. Hertfordshire County Council receives 78p in every £1, with the remaining 10p collected by the Police and Crime Commissioner.