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ACCOUNTABILITY FOR DIFFERING TAX RISES DIFFICULT TO DETECT

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As authorities begin to declare their budgets, a feature in The Birmingham Post (p12) examines proposed council tax...
As authorities begin to declare their budgets, a feature in The Birmingham Post (p12) examines proposed council tax rises in the West Midlands and calls for a less confusing system of local taxation.

Coventry residents will see a 'modest' increase of 1.9%, while the people of Wolverhampton for the second year in succession face a rise from the Labour council of 15% on top of last year's 13.8%.

Birmingham City Council's taxpayers will pay an additional 11.4%, while 'close by in Dudley the rise will be a modest and comparatively affordable 4.4%,' the author writes.

'The financing of local government ... has undergone so many changes of formulae and balancing of anomalies that its structures are now positively labyrinthine.'

Any explanation for differing bills that can be detected, the author says, maybe caused by the gap opening up in financial policies between old and new Labour.
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