ESSEX residents are set to face soaring tax bills as council bosses brace for a tough financial future.
Currently, authorities must hold local referendums if they want to raise council tax by more than 3%, but Mr Hunt announced in his autumn statement that he would raise that figure to 5%.
This is equivalent to raising the average D-band bill by around £250 in 2027/28, according to analysis by the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR).
Southend Council leader Stephen George has said “certain ongoing charges and council tax” will rise in response to the autumn budget.
He did not confirm by how much council tax would increase.
“With a net reduction in funding and the burden on local government to raise council taxes and significant reductions in services to balance the books,” Mr George said.
“Councils simply need more funding to continue to provide the range of local services that people have come to expect. The LGA believe a 20% council tax increase would be needed nationwide, which is clearly unsustainable.
He added: “The simple reality is that what we collect through locally collected taxes is far from covering the amount we need to provide key services whose demand and cost are increasing every day.
“Councils simply need more funding to continue to provide the range of local services that people have come to expect.
Essex County Council Leader Kevin Bentley declined to rule out council tax increases but added he did not expect to do so by the maximum amount allowed.
Speaking to the BBC, the Tory council leader said: ‘I can’t rule out not raising it as we still have to work on this, but I don’t plan to go as high as the Chancellor will. authorized it.
“Unless something unexpected happens and I just have to say because we’ve had increases in the cost of living and inflation over the last three or four months, it’s affected our budget. ”
According to the Treasury analysis, around 95% of councils are expected to increase payments by the full 5% allowed.
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