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Reigate proposes 2% council tax rise

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A second Conservative council has put forward proposals to increase council tax next year.

Reigate & Banstead BC’s cabinet has agreed a 2% increase for 2013-14 as part of their draft budget proposals due to go out to consultation.

They join Conservative Canterbury in rejecting the goverment’s funding offer for authorities freezing council tax as well as Labour-run City of York Council and Thanet BC which is of no overall control.

Deputy leader Victor Broad (Con) said the government’s funding offer, which the council accepted in the last two years, would leave the council worse off in the long term.

“This time we are proposing not to accept the offer because it means we would need to find an additional £1.5m in savings over the next five years to meet the budget gap it would create.”

He added: “We know that it is difficult for residents in the current economic climate and so we have sought to keep the rise as low as we can.”

The council’s proposal for a 2% increase in council tax also avoids the need to hold a referendum as required in the Localism Act.

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