Council tax hike for Potters Bar residents

HOUSEHOLDERS in Potters Bar will pay an average of almost �50 more council tax this year. The figure, which equates to a rise of 3.5 per cent, emerged after Hertsmere Borough Council, the county council and Hertfordshire Police Authority agreed their indi

HOUSEHOLDERS in Potters Bar will pay an average of almost �50 more council tax this year.

The figure, which equates to a rise of 3.5 per cent, emerged after Hertsmere Borough Council, the county council and Hertfordshire Police Authority agreed their individual tax precepts for 2009/10.

In the case of an average Band D property in the town, the yearly bill will increase from �1,373.37 to �1,421.56.

Similar increases will also apply to those living in Ridge and South Mimms.

Hertsmere Borough Council raised its share of the tax by 2.8 per cent, following a full meeting of the authority, in Borehamwood last Wednesday.

Tory councillor John Graham, finance and property portfolio holder, said: "We are very pleased indeed this administration can recommend a figure of 2.8 per cent.

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"It is a figure which is below inflation and the lowest this council has seen in a decade."

He added: "The 2.8 per cent is below the national average of 3 per cent and is significantly lower than some of the other boroughs that we have in Hertfordshire."

But Lib Dem Roger Kutchinsky was not impressed, and pointed out neighbouring St Albans District Council had been able to keep its council tax precept the same for 2009/10.

"This is not a time when we want to increase the burden on our poor long-suffering rate-payers," he said.

"They have got enough pressures on them already, they don't need an increase of 2.8 per cent in their council tax."

Cllr Kutchinsky proposed the council use some of its �6m cash reserves to restrict the rise to 0.8 per cent.

However, his suggestion was given short shrift by the ruling Conservatives, including Potters Bar member Shirley Legate, who said the reserves were there for a "real rainy day" and should not be touched.

The final council tax bill for 2009/10 is worked out by adding together the precepts from the borough council, the county council and the police authority, together with any parish council levy where appropriate.

Around three-quarters of what you pay goes to the county council, while the borough council receives just 11 per cent.

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