England will see its first standard £2,000 council tax bill this April as families shoulder the burden of years of Tory cuts.
Hard-pressed residents of Rutland, East Midlands, are poised to see the annual bill for a Band D home tip over the eye-watering threshold for the first time.
The Tory-run county hall is hiking bills by 4.99% to fund cash-starved social care – sending the total bill for all services soaring more than £100 from £1,936 to £2,043.
Even those in the cheapest Band A homes will be forced to cough up £1,362 – while those in the most expensive, Band H, will have to pay £4,086.
The county – due to confirm its final rate on Monday – is one of a small handful set to pass the £2,000 mark for a Band D home, Mirror research reveals.
Other areas where total Band D bills are expected to tip over £2,000 include Wealden and Lewes in East Sussex, and Hartlepool, where a Band D home is expected to pay £2,013.
It comes after council chiefs warned they will still have to cut funding for parks, roadworks, libraries and bin collections despite the tax hike.
Richard Watts, Chair of the Local Government Association’s Resources Board, said: “Between 2010 and 2020, councils will have lost almost 60p out of every £1 the government had provided for services.
“With councils facing a funding gap of more than £3 billion this year, council tax rises will not prevent the need for continued cutbacks.”
Labour shadow local government minister Jim McMahon branded the council tax system “broken, outdated and regressive”.
And Shadow Local Government Secretary Andrew Gwynne said: “This staggering increase is a direct result of government cuts – meaning that residents are paying more for less.
“This must be a watershed moment for the Government.”
Our data – sourced from hundreds of council finance papers – suggests the average Band D bill across England is set to rise by around £72 to more than £1,700 in April.
The final average rise is expected to be slightly higher as this figure excludes smaller hikes for fire services, parish and district councils.
The biggest rise in almost every area comes from councils that are responsible for social care, which make up most of the total council tax bill.
Social care councils can raise bills by up to 2.99% in 2019/20 for general funds and, in some areas, a further 2% for social care.
Just two councils in England that are responsible for social care are planning to freeze council tax completely – Wigan and Thurrock.
The second-biggest part of the total rise is a flat £24 hike in the part of council tax that goes to police.
Our research suggests every force in England – except West Mercia and North Yorkshire – is poised to hike bills by the maximum possible £24.
Band D residents in Northumbria will see their police contribution soar 22% from £110 to £134.
Northumbria Police Chief Constable Winton Keenen admitted: “Tough decisions have had to be taken to make ends meet.”
Rutland Council’s Cabinet member for finance, Tory councillor Gordon Brown, said: “We’re being forced to choose between raising Council Tax to protect vital frontline services or making cutbacks that will affect families.
“We’ve chosen to protect services and have avoided cuts by making savings in other areas and learning to do more with less.”
In a statement to the Mirror, Mr Brown blasted nationwide government cuts that he said have slashed almost £4billion from councils since 2015.
And he said the formula for sharing out cash from central government was “not equal or fair”.
He said: “Rutland gets around 50% less government funding per person than the average unitary council.
“If we received average funding it would mean an extra £4.4million, which would equate to £300 on Band D Council Tax.”
Labour-run Hartlepool Council, which passed its £2,013 Band D rate on Thursday, insisted more than half its households are in Band A – so will only see a smaller £60 rise to £1,342 a year.
Local Government Secretary James Brokenshire previously insisted councils’ 2019/20 funding “recognises the pressures councils face in meeting growing demand for services and rewards their impressive efforts to drive efficiencies and rebuild our economy”.
A Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government spokeswoman said: “Councils, not central government, are responsible for managing their own resources.
“Taxpayers can veto excessive increases via a local referendum.”