Mansfield Council plans council tax raise to plug £1.3m budget shortfall

Residents in Mansfield face a rise in council tax as councillors work to plug a budget shortfall.

The 1.99 per cent rise – which would raise an extra £115,000 – is just one of the suggestions to help plug Mansfield Council’s £1.3m shortfall.

The council said the deficit results ‘from increased expenditure in response to coronavirus coupled with a substantial loss of income from fees and charges and lower than expected collection rates for both council tax and business rates’.

Coun Craig Whitby, council portfolio holder for corporate and finance, said: “It is not easy to put forward a proposal to increase Council Tax when we know the financial impact coronavirus has had on so many people in our district.

Council Tax is set to rise in Mansfield.

“The Government currently allows local authorities to increase council tax by 3 per cent, or by £5 on a Band D equivalent, whichever is higher, before having to hold a referendum. We don’t wish to take advantage of that full limit and propose a smaller increase of 1.99 per cent.

“It’s important to remember the district council's share of the council tax bill is about 10 per cent with the remaining 90 per cent residents pay going to Nottinghamshire Council and other county services, such as the police and fire service.”

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He said a 1.99 per cent rise would mean the majority of Mansfield residents, who live in Band A properties, pay an extra £2.59 for the year towards Mansfield Council services, with the authority’s precept rising from £129,81 this year to £132.40 for 2022/23 – band H homeowners would pay about £15 a year more.

Other proposals to make up the gap include slashing councillors’ allowances by 50 per cent, to provide an extra £18,000, and reducing special responsibility payments, for specific councillor roles such as committee chairman and portfolio holidays, by 10 per cent, to provide £20,000.

Coun Whitby, who will present his budget report to his fellow cabinet members to consider on November 1, also proposes using £300,000 of council reserves, as well as ‘additional increases in fees and charges to provide an extra £104,000’ to plug the deficit.

The figures in the report are based on Government grants remaining at the current level of £677,000, which is expected to be confirmed as part of Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s Autumn Budget on Wednesday.

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