Residents in Wandsworth can expect to see their council tax bills go up again, but rest assured, they will still be some of the lowest in the country.
Last week Wandsworth Council’s finance committee unanimously supported recommendations for a council tax increase of 1.99 per cent, plus a further 2 per cent for social care.
This will mean an average extra charge of £17.95 a year for the council services part of the bill, taking the total to £467.75 for an average Band D property.
Combined with the Mayor of London’s proposed increase, this will take the average Wandsworth Band D council tax bill for the year to £799.82.
Despite the increase the total bill is expected to be around half the London average, and one of the lowest in the country.
Last year Wandsworth had the second lowest council tax bill in the country, behind Westminster.
Neighbouring Kingston and Richmond Councils were at the other end of the scale, charging £1,870.95 and £1,803.72 for Band D properties.
Councillor Rory O’Broin, cabinet member for finance and corporate resources, said: “Wandsworth continues to make sure its residents pay one of the lowest council taxes in London while benefiting from some of the best-run services in the country.
“I’m delighted that we can provide people with value for money while continuing to invest in libraries, parks, roads and housing.”
The report will now be considered at the next council meeting on March 4 where the council will be asked to approve the increase.
Why is Wandsworth’s council tax so low?
Wandsworth has long prided itself as a low-tax borough.
It was able to set bills for zero pence for two years running in the early 1990s during the days of the poll tax.
When council tax was introduced in 1993 the borough was able to set an unusually low figure because of government measures aimed at easing the introduction of the new tax.
As one of the few Conservative councils in inner London, it is held up by the party as a model of good governance.
Why do we pay council tax?
Council tax came into existence from April 1 1993. It is charged on all domestic properties and is based upon the value of the property as assessed in 1991.
In Wandsworth it is made up of the amount charged by the council, and the amount charged by the Greater London Authority (the mayor’s office) for services across London.
There are also some properties which are subject to an additional charge (commons rate) by the Wimbledon and Putney Commons Conservators.
Residents living near to Wimbledon and Putney Commons and Putney Heath pay a small additional amount to the Wimbledon and Putney Commons Conservators (WPCC) which funds the upkeep of these open spaces.
This ranges from just under £20 for Band A properties to almost £60 for the most expensive Band H properties.