Aberdeenshire council tax to rise by 4.84%
Council tax in Aberdeenshire will be increased by 4.84% for the coming financial year.
The rise was agreed at a meeting of the full council.
The announcement of the council tax rate will help officers to finalise budget proposals ahead of the meeting on Wednesday, March 18.
At the end of last month the Scottish Government confirmed that local authorities would be able to increase their council tax levels by up to three per cent in real terms (equivalent to 4.84 per cent cash) for the year ahead.
Council leader Jim Gifford said: “Given the overall budget position that this council currently faces and especially in the light of the Scottish budget last week that appears to have given us next to no additional funding, when compared to our levels of commitments, we have some really difficult decisions to make.
“The magnitude of funding reductions that we must consider over the next couple of weeks in order to produce a balanced budget means that we have little choice this year but to look at using that full council tax raising power.”
Commenting on the increase, Councillor Gifford said: “We don’t take this decision lightly but we must act responsibly and consider all options available to us to create a solid foundation of locally determined revenue to enable continued investment in local services while mitigating against the worst of the cuts to budgets that could be avoided if we just got a more generous settlement from Edinburgh.”
Following the rise, an average Band D property would be expected to pay just over £1,300 in council tax per year – around £5 extra per month or £1.15 a week compared to last year.
SNP Group leader Councillor Richard Thomson said: “In setting the council tax rate we in this side of the chamber have become accustomed to setting it at three per cent.
“However, I think that the circumstances this year are somewhat different and for that reason we would fully endorse the proposal to increase the council tax to the maximum level.”