THE highest increase in council tax allowed is planned for households in Reading.

The Labour administration at Reading Borough Council has unveiled its spending and revenue plans for the 2023/24 financial year.

The plans involve raising council tax by the maximum amount allowed, 4.99 per cent, without having to hold a referendum.

Of that, of 2.99 per cent of it will go to council services, with a further two per cent to pay for adult social care specifically.

How much the increase will affect you will depend on your council tax band.

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The ‘baseline’, band D, would see council tax go up by £91.30 compared to last year, with those in band E-H properties -the most valuable- all playing over £100.

The Local Democracy Reporting Service has calculated how the rise will affect you by adding the 4.99 per cent increase to last year’s previous total amount of tax.

You can see how much you are set to pay in the table below:

Actual amounts are set to be higher as well, as the council is just one of the organisations, called ‘precepting bodies’ which can raise council tax.

The others are Thames Valley Police, the Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service.

Therefore, the final amount that the taxes will increase by will be revealed ahead of a full council meeting on Tuesday, February 28.

Residents can apply for a reduction in their council tax if they meet required parameters, the details of which for 2023/24 will be confirmed along with the council’s budget proposals at the end of February.

Addressing the tax increase,  Jason Brock (Labour, Southcote) the leader of Reading Borough Council, said: “We know a Council Tax rise is never welcome, particularly in the midst of a cost of living crisis, but let’s not forget these rises were all but assumed in the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement, recognising that a realistic long-term funding solution for Local Government still doesn’t exist.

“We are moving to protect those hardest hit by inflation with a new discount for residents eligible for our enhanced local Council Tax Support Scheme, which ensures that no one in receipt of such support will have a higher bill next year.

“I’m also proud that, despite the financial challenges, we plan to maintain our financial support for Reading’s incredible voluntary sector, whose role in helping us to reach and support those living on low incomes, as well as tackling widening inequality, becomes all the more essential in these difficult times.”

Cllr Brock has also argued that 70 per cent of council taxpayers in Reading live in Band A to C properties, with only 15 per cent of households in Band D.

The Reading Conservatives have previously argued that the Borough has the highest council tax in Berkshire.