Dorset Council agrees 4% tax hike

Dorset Council agrees 4% tax hike

Published by George Sharpe at 5:29pm 19th February 2020.

Dorset Councillors have agreed to increase the authoriy's share of council tax by 4%.

The decision to increase the tax was made at a full council meeting last night (18th February 2020).

It's to help pay for the rising cost of adult social care and children's services.

Leader of Dorset Council, Spencer Flower said:

"We've got a challenging time, we're relying on a lot of transformation to make sure our budgets stay balanced but I think we can do it.

"We're ambitious as a council, I think we're all going to work together, cross-party, across the chamber, to make a difference in Dorset."

It's the maximum amount the council can increase the tax without holding a referendum.

It will push many ‘average’ homes into paying more than £2,000 a year for the first time once police, fire, town and parish council demands have been added – keeping Dorset as one of the most expensive councils in England.

Half of the Dorset Council increase (2%) will be for adult social care which will see its overall budget rise from £111.2m to £122.9m, but still facing the need to find cost reductions of more than £1.2m.

An extra £10.3m will go to children with care, or educational needs. That department is also expected to fine savings, as will others.

The new Dorset Council share of council tax from April will range from £1,130 a year for band A homes to £3,390 for band H.

For the most prevalent band D and E homes the Dorset Council share will be £1,695 and £2,072.

By Trevor Bevins, Local Democracy Reporter and George Sharpe