COUNCIL tax across Gwent could increase by an average of 4.36 per cent for 2021/22.
While the five Gwent councils are yet to approve the final council tax increase, Newport has proposed the highest of five per cent, while Caerphilly could see the lowest of 3.9 per cent.
Blaenau Gwent has proposed a four per cent increase, Monmouthshire has proposed 4.95 per cent and Torfaen, 3.95 per cent.
All five councils are at a different stage of the council tax setting process but will have to decide in time for implementation in April.
So, what does this mean for each local authority area?
February 12 was the last day of the public consultation for Newport’s budget and council tax proposals.
While Newport has currently proposed a five per cent council tax increase, previously this has been reduced when the proposals are brought back to cabinet for a final recommendation – something that hasn’t happened yet.
Therefore, there’s still a chance that the increase might be less than the five per cent initially put forward.
The proposals have been through scrutiny and once the consultation finishes residents won’t have long until they find out what the increase will be.
Last year the cabinet initially put forward a 7.95 per cent increase in council tax – this ended up being one per cent lower at 6.95.
Over the last five years council tax has increased on average by 5.02 per cent, with the highest increase coming last year.
If Newport council decides to implement the five per cent increased proposed, then it will be the first time in four years that the council tax increase is less than the previous year.
The proposed council tax rise equates to an increase of £59.89 per year on a band D property, while for bands A-C it would be a rise of between £39.93 and £53.24.
A final recommendation will be put forward by the council’s cabinet at the end of the month.
The consultation for Monmouthshire’s budget and proposed 4.95 per cent council tax increase closes on Wednesday (February 17), which means residents still have a chance to have their say.
Like Newport, the council scrutiny committees have already discussed the proposals and once the public consultation ends, final recommendations will be drafted.
If the 4.95 per cent council tax is approved then it will be the lowest increase in Monmouthshire for three years, but still one per cent off the levels of 2016/17 and 2017/18.
The proposed council tax increase of 4.95 per cent would see bills for a band D property increase by £68.35 a year, or £1.31 a week.
Unlike the other Gwent councils, Blaenau Gwent released its budget proposals only last week.
The proposed four per cent increase is 0.1 per cent higher than last year. However, as the council is earlier on in the process it could yet be changed.
Despite the proposed increase being marginally higher than last year’s, it’s still lower than the council tax increase in both 2019/20 and 2018/19.
The planned four per cent rise would amount to paying an extra £0.87 per week for band A households and £1.02 per week for band B households.
A decision on whether to increase council tax by 3.95 per cent in Torfaen will be made on March 4.
The council has been through the scrutiny process and this week the cabinet recommended the final budget proposals to full council.
The proposed council tax increase would mean residents in a band D property would pay an extra £54.01 per year – or £1.04 a week.
The proposed increase is unlikely to change having reached the final stage without movement, although it is exactly the same as last year’s council tax increase.
In fact, the 3.95 per cent proposed increase – if approved – will be the third time this has been the percentage rise in six years.
The proposed council tax increase of 3.9 per cent in Caerphilly is the lowest in Gwent and amounts to an 89p increase per week for properties in council tax band D.
The council already has one of the lowest council tax rates in Wales, and if approved, it’s set to stay this way.
The proposed increase for 2021/22 is 0.8 per cent below last year’s increase and significantly below the 6.95 per cent increase in 2019/20.