£9.21 rise in tax ask as Camborne council sets budget
11:52am Wednesday 6th March 2013 in News
Camborne Town Council has set its budget and precept for the financial year 2013/14 at an extraordinary meeting of the full council.
Councillors were faced with "difficult" decisions, due to the impact of a new localised scheme for council tax support.
This new scheme has meant that the tax base from which council tax is collected is now smaller, so the amount of tax charged to taxpayers would have to increase to collect the same amount of money.
This year the government has provided grant funding to fill the gap and protect council tax payers from the change, but it is not known if any funding will be available in the future.
Potentially this could leave town and parish councils in a precarious financial situation. Therefore, Camborne Town Council has decided to split the grant, so that two thirds could be held in reserves to prevent future large increases, in case the government stops the funding.
Mayor Jean Charman said: “Camborne Town Council's budget and development committee worked extremely hard to keep the inevitable precept increase to a minimum.
“The committee did the best it could in a very difficult situation to protect residents against large increases in the future bearing in mind the possibility that the government could withdraw its funding at any time.”
Councillor Robert Webber, vice chairman of the council's budget and development committee said: “It is with great reluctance that I supported a further increase in the parish precept.
“With a potential £72,000 shortfall next year, if no further monies to finance the new local council tax relief scheme were forthcoming, the town council had to take action now to ensure it can continue in future years to provide community grants, flower beds, footpath works and the scope to take on services such as toilets from Cornwall Council which are otherwise at risk of closure.”
In the view of the town clerk, Amanda Mugford, councillors had voted to protect council tax payers in the long term by giving the council some financial stability, when all councils would experience greater volatility in the future because of the changes.
The town council voted for a precept of £316,104.14 which, although less than the current precept of £334,014.00, represents an increase of £9.21 a year for Band D council tax payers.