Council tax: How will you be affected?

Council tax freeze for some but others are feeling the squeeze

Council tax freeze for some but others are feeling the squeeze

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It’s a case of mixed fortunes for residents across the district as local authorities make their decision on council tax rates.

Householders in Linlithgow will not see any further increases on council tax after the council decided against proposals to hike up the charge further.

Initially plans had been to use the power given to local authorities to increase by one per cent.

The council said the decision to freeze taxes for another year was taken with families in mind.

Due to Scottish Government revisions in band weighting for residents in bands E-H, which is 54 per cent of Linlithgow households, they will already see an increase in the levy between 7.5 per cent and 22.5 per cent from April 1 2017. That works out to be between an extra £100-£500 per year.

Taking into account income of £2.88 million which will be raised from the Scottish Parliament approved revision of council tax banding weightings, the Labour-run council needs to find an additional £9.8m in funding.

After the budget meeting, council leader John McGinty said: “We have taken the decision not to raise council tax further because we recognise that finances remain tight for families not just councils, and it delivers on a promise made to West Lothian Council taxpayers.”

In addition to budget reduction measures, the council will also use £3 million of reserves to balance their budget.

Meanwhile, residents in Bo’ness are being hit with a three per cent hike in council tax after Falkirk Council passed its budget on Wednesday.

Households in Band D will see their bill rise an extra £32 a year from £1070 to £1102.

The council say the £1.7 million generated by raising the council tax by three per cent will be going to where it is needed the most. The council managed to deliver a balanced budget with no cuts to services or job losses.

Council leader Craig Martin said: “Today is genuine evidence I have kept my word – investment into new projects – a dementia project, a food bank project and more. I am enthusiastic over this budget that invests in our community.”

Householders in South Queensferry also face a three per cent hike in council tax after the City of Edinburgh Council passed its budget earlier this month.

Councillor Bill Cook, vice-convener of the finance and resources committee, said: “It’s no secret that it’s a challenging time for the council.

“However, I’m pleased that thanks to prudent financial management we have been able to successfully set the budget while continuing to look out for citizens’ best interests.”