How has your council tax increased over the 25 years since it came in?
Latest figures from the government show how council tax bills have trebled during the 25 years they were introduced – and shed new light on which are the cheapest and most expensive places for local authority bills.
The figure normally used by the government and local authorities to compare council tax bills is the Band D level – but in all authorities in Suffolk and north Essex this is not seen as a “typical” band. There are more homes in Band B and C.
Using the Band D measure, the figures suggest Forest Heath has had the highest increase over the 25-year period, rising 262pc on the original council tax bill of £460 to £1,668 for Band D properties.
Babergh is not far behind with a 249pc increase from 1993’s council tax bill of £478, with the 2018 figure rising to £1,670.
The figures also indicate that Ipswich has the highest council tax bills in the region – with an annual figure of £1,783. That is a 182pc increase on the original council tax bill of £632 in 1993/94.
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On the Band D measure, the lowest council tax bill in the county is Suffolk Coastal where the average Band D bill (it varies from parish to parish) is £1,657. That is a 236pc increase on the original tax bill of £493 in 1993/4.
However, looking at the average council tax bill paid by households across all bands, the figures produced by the government’s Ministry of Housing and Local Government show a very different story. The “average” council tax bill in Suffolk Coastal for the current year is £1,381 (up 231pc over 25 years), but the average bill in Ipswich is £1,136 (up 157pc since 1993). The lowest average bill in Suffolk is in Waveney district – £1,090 (up 215pc).
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Both Ipswich and Waveney are more urban that other parts of Suffolk with a greater proportion of small houses in Bands A and B.
The highest average bills in the county are in Mid Suffolk – £1,407 a year.
Council tax bills from Suffolk County Council have increased by 190pc between 1993 and 2018, and in Essex the figure is 183pc. However, that figure during the early years of council tax included the police element – which is now a separate part of the bill.