Rise in Rasen precept due to inflation and salaries says town council

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Market Rasen Town Council has increased its share of council tax for the coming financial year, saying inflation and salaries have contributed to a rise of 2.5%.

Councillors took the decision last Wednesday (January 8) at their first monthly meeting of the year.

Mayor John Matthews confirmed the council was considering raising its precept to £129,642 in 2020-21.

The precept is the amount of money a council needs to cover its costs.

Newly appointed town clerk Lucy Waller explained that because West Lindsey District Council had confirmed the overall base rate figure, the increase to the figure of £129.642 represented a rise of 2.99%. 
 She suggested councillors could consider a lower precept of £129,023 which would result in a 2.5% increase.

Councillors agreed on that second option.

During the meeting, Coun Matthews said: “The increase is basically down to inflation.

“When we put the new skate park in, which was £80,000, we had no money for it and we had to find that money.

“We built in a capital figure to go into reserve for long term repair/replacement.

“We are building that up over 10 years.”

Coun Thomas Smith added: “We also have the minimum wage increases to consider.”

Deputy Mayor, Coun Stephen Bunney, said: “The bulk of it (the increase) actually is to do with 
salaries and inflation which are beyond our control.

“Inflation concerning (our) utility costs is going up.”

Last year, the town council set the precept at £126,480. The figure was £115,000 in 2018/2019.

Although no details of what households will have to pay have been announced, residents are beginning to get a clearer picture of what their council tax bill could look like.

Last week, the county 
council revealed it is proposing a 1.5% increase in general council tax, with a further 2% increase specifically for adult social care, leading to a 
overall rise of 3.5%.

As a result, council tax for a Band D property would increase by £45.18 a year to £1,337.58.

West Lindsey District Council is expected to set its precept in March with some people predicting a small rise. It is expected the police precept will also increase.

Overall, it is thought the bill for an average Band D property will increase by £70-£100.