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What will you pay your local authority in council tax from April this year?

PUBLISHED: 17:00 09 February 2018 | UPDATED: 17:00 09 February 2018

Ipswich council's Grafton House headquarters opposite the county council's Endeavour House offices. Picture: ARCHANT

Ipswich council's Grafton House headquarters opposite the county council's Endeavour House offices. Picture: ARCHANT

All Suffolk’s major council tax-raising bodies have now declared their hand for the next financial year – allowing residents to know how much more they are likely to pay.

Ipswich residents know exactly how much they will pay because there are only borough, county and Police and Crime Commissioner elements to their bill – but in the rest of the county the exact amount charged will depend on the demands from parish and town councils.

The annual figures for Band B properties – 31% of Suffolk homes – (without parish or town council demands) are:

Babergh:£1,236 (up £59)

Ipswich: £1,387 (up £63)

Forest Heath: £1,227 (up £58)

Mid Suffolk: £1,239 (up £55)

St Edmundsbury: £1,255 (up £55)

Suffolk Coastal: £1,239 (up £59)

Waveney: £1,239 (up £59).

In percentage terms the increase is 4.8% in Babergh, Forest Heath, Ipswich, Suffolk Coastal and Waveney. It is 4.4% in Mid Suffolk and 4.3% in St Edmundsbury. In both of those councils it was kept down (St Edmundsbury froze its council tax) to try to equalise rates with partner councils Babergh and Forest Heath respectively.

All the district and borough councils are due to set final council rates the week after next – but the figures have already been agreed by their cabinets or executives and it would be a major surprise if they changed in the final council meeting.

The parish council element that is included in the final bill in most Suffolk districts and boroughs will push the final figure up slightly – and varies from small amounts in tiny villages to quite substantial elements in some market towns across the county.

The government classes Band D as the base figure for council tax calculations, but in Suffolk that only applies to 14% of the housing stock. More than half of Suffolk’s homes (51%) are in Bands A or B. Band B properties pay 7/9 of the Band D figure and Band A properties pay 2/3 of the Band D figure.

In Ipswich 69% of homes are in the bottom two bands which, the borough says, means the council has to have slightly higher council tax bands than in the rest of the county where there is a greater proportion of large homes.

The new council tax rates will come into force from the beginning of April – with letters and statements from councils being sent out during March.

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Students at the West Suffolk College, in Bury St Edmunds, have been shaving their heads, holding a quiz night, a sponsored skeleton, sponsored walk and 24-hour non-stop sport which added up to £4,500 being raised for the GeeWizz charity to purchase laptops for the town’s Priory School.

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