How has your council tax increased over the 25 years since it came in?

Suffolk County Council headquarters Endeavour House (right) and Ipswich Borough Council's base Graft

Suffolk County Council headquarters Endeavour House (right) and Ipswich Borough Council's base Grafton House (left). Picture: SU ANDERSON - Credit: Archant

New figures from the government show how council tax bills have trebled during the 25 years they were introduced – and shed new light on which are the cheapest and most expensive places for local authority bills.

How council taxes have gone up over the last 25 years: Picture: ARCHANT

How council taxes have gone up over the last 25 years: Picture: ARCHANT - Credit: Archant

The figure normally used by the government and local authorities to compare council tax bills is the Band D level – but in all authorities in Suffolk and north Essex this is not seen as a “typical” band. There are more homes in Band B and C.

Using the Band D measure, the figures suggest that Ipswich has the highest council tax bills in the region with an annual figure of £1,783. That is a 182% increase on the original council tax bill of £632 in 1993/94.

On the Band D measure, the lowest council tax bill in the county is Suffolk Coastal where the average Band D bill (it varies from parish to parish) is £1,657. That is a 236% increase on the original tax bill of £493 in 1993/4.

However looking at the average council tax bill paid by households across all bands, the figures produced by the government’s Ministry of Housing and Local Government show a very different story.


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The “average” council tax bill in Suffolk Coastal for the current year is £1,381 (up 231% over 25 years), but the average bill in Ipswich is £1,136 (up 157% since 1993). The lowest average bill in Suffolk is in Waveney district – £1,090 (up 215%).

Both Ipswich and Waveney are more urban that other parts of Suffolk with a greater proportion of small houses in Bands A and B.

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The highest average bills in the county are in Mid Suffolk – £1,407 a year.

Council tax bills from Suffolk County Council have increased by 190% between 1993 and 2018, and in Essex the figure is 183%.

However that figure during the early years of council tax the county figure included the police element – that is now a separate part of the bill.

The figures for Colchester and Tendring councils in Essex are similar to those for Suffolk councils – in both areas bills for Band D homes are considerably higher than the average bills for homes, suggesting that their average homes are smaller than the government’s basic yardstick.

And while most actual figures for council taxes are lower than the English average, the percentage increases have been higher than the national average in every district except Ipswich.

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