Band D households can expect to see council tax bills rise by a typical 4.5% in April, making it the second biggest increase in 10 years.
The average £75.60 hike will see households in some parts of the country reach as much as £1,800, and was only beaten by last year’s increase of 5.1% or £80.92, according to the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA).
However, CIPFA says the average figures hide significant regional variations.
Residents of Greater London will suffer the biggest increases – averaging at 5.1%, yet their bills, which come in at a typical £1,476 will remain lower than households in the North East which are paying in the region of £1,884 this year.
CIPFA says much of the increases can be attributed to local police and crime commissioners doubling the police precept on the council tax bill, which has risen by more than 12.6%.
The police precept is a portion of the local police force’s funding that comes from council tax.
Rob Whiteman, chief executive at CIPFA says: “The extent of the rises across the country is a reflection of the incredible fiscal pressure faced by local authorities and police.
"Without a bolder vision from government, the future of these services is increasingly being put at risk.
"Local authorities have faced the most significant cuts to spending over the last 10 years, and despite the government’s announcement that austerity is ending, for local authorities this is clearly not the case. Long term they remain in an unsustainable position.
“Ministers need to make radical decisions to secure the future of public services. Council tax is regressive, and increasingly divorced from the reality of property values. They will not be sufficient to meet rising demand for services such as adult, and increasingly, children’s social care.”
A Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government spokesperson says: “We are investing in Britain’s future by providing local authorities with access to £45.1 billion this year – increasing to £46.4 billion next year – to meet the needs of their residents.
"Councils, not central government, are responsible for managing their own resources. Tax-payers can veto excessive increases via a local referendum.”
The threshold for what is considered excessive varies according to different types of local authority and their spending commitments. For example where councils have responsibility for social care a referendum must be held if they want to increase council tax by more than 5%.
Exemptions may also be granted. For example the threshold for Northamptonshire County Council has been increased from 5% to 7% to reflect severe financial problems it suffered in 2018.