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Council tax one of the lowest

Figures released by the Government show that West Oxfordshire District Council is, once again, charging the second lowest council tax rate out of the 201 shire district councils in England.

West Oxfordshire District Council’s share of the Council Tax for a Band D property in 2009/10 has been set at £78.57. In percentage terms it is a 4.9% increase, but in money terms it is an increase of £3.69 a year, or 7 pence a week.

Cllr Barry Norton, Leader of the Council, said: “It is good news for residents that West Oxfordshire District Council is one of the leading authorities in the country for providing low-cost value for money services. The District Council’s portion of the council tax bill is only £1.50 a week for each household. This includes waste and recycling collections, leisure centres, housing and planning. We are also one of only a few councils in the country providing free parking in all our car parks.

“However, like many local authorities we are facing immense financial pressures from price inflation, falling income from planning and housing-related activities, interest rate falls and an “extremely poor” settlement from central government. We are able to cushion the impact by making efficiency savings and using a significant proportion of reserves to ensure that council tax rises are kept as low as possible.

“Since Council Tax began in 1993 it means that West Oxfordshire taxpayers in total have paid £60m less tax than the average council taxpayer in the country – money that hopefully they will have spent in the local economy helping to ensure West Oxfordshire’s employment rates are amongst the best in the country.”

At £78.57 West Oxfordshire District Council’s rate at is less than half the national average of £163 and is the lowest of the five Oxfordshire district councils. The highest charge in Oxfordshire is Oxford City at a level of £258.

West Oxfordshire’s share of the Council Tax bill is about 5.5 % of the overall bill that taxpayers receive. The bulk of the bill (80%) is payable to Oxfordshire County Council to cover major services such as Education, Highways, Social Services and the Fire and Rescue Service. The rest of the bill covers police and parish / town council services.

Posted : 21/04/2009 12:07:17

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