County councillors have approved a rise in council tax of 1.9 per cent for the residents of Staffordshire.
With added precepts from other local authorities, it means council tax payers in the average Band D category in Stafford face paying an extra 37p a week, or £19.19 a year.
The actual increase is likely to be higher once other authorities such as fire service and the borough council finalise their increases.
Staffordshire County Council’s figure is the lowest ever council tax set since the system was introduced in 1993.
The authority is claiming the figure is below inflation, which jumped in December to 2.9 per cent, although for the last half of 2009 the consumer price index had been at around the one per cent level whilst the retail price index was at -1.5.
The council claimed the small increase in council tax will help families struggling with the recession and safeguard crucial services. Although it is the smallest rise so far agreed the county council increase has the biggest impact on residents as the majority of the council tax bill is paid to the county council.
The remaining authorities such as the borough council, police, and fire service have a much lower share of the overall tax. The 1.9 per cent rise will see an average Band D homeowner paying an extra 37p a week, or £19.19 a year. The total increase will include fire and police authority precepts, the borough council rise and parish council precepts.
Stafford Borough Council is expected to confirm a 1.9 per cent rise – £2.80 to the bill – on February 25.
On Wednesday Staffordshire Police authority agreed a 2.8 per cent rise, meaning an extra £5.20 for residents.
The fire authority rise is 2.9 per cent – £1.91.
Philip Atkins, leader of the county council, said: “I am delighted that full council has accepted the recommendation of cabinet and passed this budget, with an increase of 1.9 per cent. Staffordshire people want good services at a price they can afford. That is what people tell me and what our consultation has supported. This will allow us to concentrate on improving services such as improving roads, care for elderly people and standards in schools.”