Harrogate council backs council tax hike


Feb 10, 2021

Councillors on Harrogate Borough Council have backed a £5 increase in council tax for this coming year.

The hike will see the council’s share of council tax rise to £250.92.

It means taxpayers in the district could see their overall bill, which includes rates for county council and police and fire services, increase to more than £2,000 in 2021/22.

Councillors voted for the increase at a full council meeting tonight as part of the authority’s budget plans.

Cllr Graham Swift, cabinet member for resources on the borough council, said the budget was put together despite coronavirus impacting on the council’s finances.

Cllr Swift said:

“There is no doubt for all people, whether you are a council member or a council staff officer or a member of the public, that 2020 and 2021 are time periods of incredible change caused predominantly by the coronavirus.

“It is because of the coronavirus that Harrogate Borough Council have had significant impact to our budget and significant changes to way in which we are financing the budget.”

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It comes as council has forecast a cost of £5.9 million this year due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Officials said the authority had lost income in car parking, sport and leisure and the Harrogate Convention Centre.

Meanwhile, councillors also voted for an amendment to the budget to increase pay for the lowest employees to £9.50 per hour.

A breakdown of the potential council tax bill for Harrogate district in 2021/22.

A breakdown of the potential council tax bill for Harrogate district in 2021/22.

Elsewhere, North Yorkshire County Council is set to decide on a 3.49% increase in their share of council tax next week.

It would see the authority’s share rise to £1,411.05.

Cllr Carl Les, leader of the county council, said the move is one of the most difficult decisions for the council in recent years.

He said:

“I don’t think there has ever been a more difficult time for us to do this exercise.

“Never have our services been more needed, but equally never has the economy and society been under such pressure.

“So we really need to get the balance right between what we need to deliver in services and what the community of North Yorkshire can afford to pay for those services.”

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