Ross town councillors consider 0% tax rise

By Simon Artymiuk   |   Reporter   |
Tuesday 9th February 2021 10:52 am
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Councillors in Ross-on-Wye are proposing to keep town’s council tax at the same rate for the next financial year.

Town councillors say they should do as much as they can to help the many people struggling financially due to the pandemic.

Householders in a band D property currently have to pay £131.24 a year to the town council.

Speaking at this week’s management committee, councillor Louis Stark proposed that the council should go for a 0% for the next financial year.

“The pandemic has lasted far longer than we thought,” he said.

“There have been three lockdowns now and people in Ross are facing some real hard challenges at the moment, particularly those on low incomes.

“I just felt that it would be a very worthwhile gesture by the council if we could afford it out of our reserves and go for a 0%.

“Recognising that some of our residents are struggling and we don’t want to, if we don’t have to, impose any more of a financial burden on them.”

This was seconded by councillor Ian Gumm.

“It’s the right thing to do. Anything we can do to support those who are still paying the council tax and struggling with it is the right thing to do.”

Councillor Ed O’Driscoll said he fully supported it as the town was yet to see the full economic impact of the pandemic.

He suggested the council should make it its intention to not increase council tax until the next local elections.

“Over the next year or two years it’s really going to come out,” he said.

“There will be more unemployment in this area. The furlough scheme is going to be ending over the next few months.

“We have our reserves set aside for a rainy day and if this isn’t one, I really don’t know what is.”

The management committee unanimously agreed the proposals.

A full council meeting on February 22 is expected to have the final say on next year’s budget.

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