Council Tax bills for band D properties could rise by 4.2% this year

Council Tax bills for band D properties could increase by 4.2% to over 1,300 in 2007, the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy predicts.

A CIPFA survey, undertaken on behalf of the BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, analysed the Council Tax settlements of almost two-thirds of the local authorities in England and Wales.

Although a 4.2% increase is slightly higher than some recent predictions, it is still the second lowest annual increase since 1994. The average Council Tax increase for 2006/07 was 4.5%.

Steve Freer, chief executive of CIPFA, says: “This will be seen as a positive result in Whitehall and in town halls around the country. Imposing the second lowest annual increase for 13 years is a significant achievement.”

But the Conservatives have attacked the rise, saying it is an attempt by government to cash in on home owners.

Caroline Spelman, Tory shadow secretary of state for the Department of Communities and Local Government, says: “Whatever spin ministers try to put on these figures, the truth is that Council Tax bills are now nearly double what they were when Labour came to power.”