The proposed increase is the maximum district council tax rise allowed without a public referendum being triggered. If approved it would mean residents in Band D properties would pay £130.34 in 2022/23 for services provided by the district council, including bin collections.
Members of South Staffordshire Council’s cabinet backed the rise at a meeting on Tuesday, as well as plans to use just over £1m of the authority’s reserves during 2022/23 to help balance its books.
The council continues to face financial challenges including the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic and uncertainty over how it will be funded in the future.
A report to Tuesday’s cabinet meeting said: “Annual deficits require the council to utilise its General Reserve balances. As at February 2021, the MTFS (Medium Term Financial Strategy), based on the annual deficits forecast, showed that the council’s General Fund Balances would reduce from £8.588m at 1st April 2021 to £0.892m at 31st March 2026.”
But the authority is expected to end the current financial year in March better than expected a year ago, the report added.
It said: “The outturn position for this current year (2021/22) is forecast as at 30 September 2021 to be a £0.757million surplus before any transfers from earmarked reserves. This represents a positive £0.353m variance against the original budget approved by council back in February 2021.
“Reasons for this include additional Covid support from central government and lower than anticipated borrowing costs.”