1.99% Tax Rise Backed on Portland ... But Proceedings Leave a Bitter Taste in the Mouths of Tax Payers
10:02pm 11th February 2014
(Updated 7:52am 13th February 2014)
Pressure has forced Portland Town Council to make a double U-turn over their proposed 1000% increase in the tax precept.
The pews at All Saints Church were crammed with people for tonight’s Council meeting (Tuesday 11th February) and they were all eager to have their say and made good use of their 30 minutes of floor time to grill councillors.
The meeting rumbled on for nearly 2 hours and when the Town Council's members got round to voting 2 motions were put forward, one for a 2% rise and the other for a 42% rise.
A vote was returned in favour of the 42% hike much to the anger of people who stood from their pews and shouted to the councillors sat at the front of the church. Shouts of "this is a joke" and "you don't listen" rang out between the church walls.
A bizarre turn of events followed and another vote was held and councillors backed down and another vote was held that returned with a majority in favour of a 1.99% rise instead.
The U-turn was formally accepted and welcomed with cheers and laughter as people soon began filing out bemused by the night’s proceedings.
The decision to formally accept a 1.99% rise is a decision most Portlander’s would have wanted, but some have been left with a bitter taste in their mouths over the way the whole situation was handled by Councillors.
Speaking from the meeting Wessex FM's Luke de Costa said; "A bizarre night with votes upon votes on top or more votes. It seemed like the Town Council were testing peoples patience and wanted to see what they could get with as little grief as possible, but they kept backing down to peoples pressure.
You could tell the people of Portland had arrived at the meeting with a fire in their belly, they were simply not going to back down tonight. I'm told the agreed 1.99% rise is roughly a 36p rise on a band d property, that's quite a way off the 1000% originally proposed.
What's left now is a bunch of angry tax payers who want to see a change within the town council. Things may have gone from bad to worse for its members."