Council tax set to rise by three per cent
Isles residents could be hit with a three per cent rise in council tax if a proposal discussed at Monday’s policy and resources committee gains the approval of the full council.
On Wednesday a special meeting of the full council will be asked to rubber-stamp the tax-hike, which would mean an additional £270,000 for the council coffers.
At Monday’s meeting finance chief Jonathan Belford said that the rise was necessary for the council to deliver an “affordable budget” for the 2018/19 year.
It is estimated that the SIC will raise just under £9.4 million from council tax in the coming year, around one-tenth of the proposed 2018/19 budget.
This comes as the Scottish government has announced a revenue grant of around £80 million and an additional £6.6 million in capital funding to the SIC. An additional £5million will also be made available for funding the internal ferries. The latter is a one-off payment.
But Mr Belford said the overall funding, which is largely similar to last year’s settlement, came at a time of “increasing costs”.
He added that there was “no hope that the Scottish government grant will do anything other than continue to reduce”.
An increase of three per cent is the largest hike permitted by the Scottish government. If approved this would mark the second year in a row in which the SIC has raised council tax.
The annual increase will mean people will be paying roughly between £21 and £79 extra per annum, depending on their council tax band.
Shetland currently has the fourth lowest council tax rate in Scotland.
• All the latest council news in Friday’s Shetlland Times.