By Bruce Sinclair
THE average total bill for rate-payers in Ceredigion is expected to rise by more than £130 if councillors agree to a recommended council tax hike later this week.
Members of Ceredigion County Council are recommended to approve a 7.3 per cent council tax rise at the March 2 meeting of the authority.
At the February meeting of the county council’s Cabinet, members agreed to a 7.3 per cent increase in the council tax level for 2023-24, for final decision by the March 2 meeting.
A 7.3 per cent increase would equate to a basic Band D cost for county council purposes of £1,553.60; an increase of £105.70.
The rise, together with broadly similar increases in the Dyfed-Powys Police precept and the town and community councils element, will see the average total bill topping £1,900, up from £1,777.27 last year, an increase of 7.37 per cent.
Total Band D rates are expected to average £1,908.23, with Aberystwyth topping the list at £2,008.23.
Other Ceredigion towns and communities’ rates include: Aberaeron £1,922.25, Cardigan £1,912.58, Lampeter £1,905.09 New Quay £1,889.50, Tregaron £1,906.97, Aberporth £1,902.66, Llandysul £1,904.08, with Nantcwnlle one of the lowest at £1,872.06.
Ceredigion is expected set the second-highest council tax rate in mid and west Wales, with neighbouring Pembrokeshire on the cards to back a 7.5 per cent increase despite a late counter-proposal for a 5.5 per cent rise.
Pembrokeshire is due to vote on its council tax rate the same day as Ceredigion.
A complication to the southern county is a proposal – yet to be finalised – to used part of the money raised from a second homes council tax premium to keep the bills lower.
Pembrokeshire councillors have been warned that the council tax increase would have to be raised to 12.9 per cent to balance the budget if full council didn’t support using revenue from the second homes council tax premium.
Carmarthenshire’s council tax is expected to increase by 6.8 per cent this year, subject to finalisation next month.
Powys, meanwhile, is to raise its council tax level by five per cent, following a decision last week.