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A bold attempt to provide a unified approach to council tax across North Yorkshire is being drawn up to ensure that hundreds of thousands of residents pay the same rate, providing millions of pounds to finance vital services. The launch of the new North Yorkshire council which will cover the whole county from 1 April 2023 means that there is a legal requirement to ensure that all council taxpayers in North Yorkshire are charged the same amount.
The major task of unifying all council tax bills across the seven districts in North Yorkshire is set to see a phased shift spread over the next two financial years, with the proposals due to be considered by members of North Yorkshire County Council’s decision-making executive on 18 October.
There would be huge variations in the amount of funding generated if the decision was taken to move council tax levels to the lowest amount seen in Hambleton, or by adopting the highest level in Harrogate. Funding from council tax is used to finance services ranging from waste collection and recycling to highways maintenance and adult social care.
The move to harmonise council tax levels would see bills for an average Band D property rise by £44.75 during each of the two financial years on a bill of £1,586.83 in Hambleton, £12.88 on a bill of £1,650.57 in the Selby district, £10.88 on a bill of £1,654.56 in Craven and by 38 pence on a bill of £1,675.56 in Ryedale. By comparison, council tax bills for a similar Band D property in Harrogate would fall by £23.47 during each of the two years on the current bill of £1,723.27, while the Scarborough district would see an annual reduction of £17.89 on a bill of £1,712.10, and Richmondshire would witness a decrease each year of £8.01 on a bill of £1,692.35.
North Yorkshire County Council’s executive member for finance, Cllr Gareth Dadd, said, “We are acutely aware of the financial pressures which everyone is under across the whole country, as we see inflation rising and the cost of energy soar along with the price of food and drink and other essential items. A great deal of work has gone into the proposed scheme to harmonise council tax bills across all seven districts, and we believe that the plan that has been drawn up to introduce the changes over the two years represents the fairest way forward for everyone involved.”
You can have your say on the new council budget and plans for council tax harmonisation when Let’s Talk Money launches on 31 October.
In the meantime, if you haven’t yet shared your thoughts on Let’s Talk Local, which focuses on your local area and what you think about the proposed community networks, you can complete the survey here.
Posted on 12th October 2022
by Let’s Talk Team