COUNCIL tax for residents in Hampshire has been increased by the county council for the first time in six years in a bid to fill an £81.5m funding gap.
The rise was due to a change in the funding formula by central government, which left the county council having to cope with what it called ‘a massive and unexpected reduction’ in its grant.
To help close the funding gap, the authority will increase its tax by 3.99 per cent in April, which equates to an 80p rise a week for a Band D homeowner – or a yearly bill of £1,079.28.
The organisation has said it will dip into its £45m reserves to mitigate the impact on residents.
Council leader Roy Perry said: ‘Without our history of careful financial planning we could have been in a very different position now – imposing unplanned and damaging additional cost reductions on our services and our community.
‘I am very pleased and relieved that this won’t be the case, and in fact, for 2016/17, Hampshire council tax precept will be the lowest of all county councils across the country. I am determined that the council will continue to sustain stable finances on behalf of the taxpayers of Hampshire.’