A 1.9% HIKE in council tax for 2013/14 is proposed by borough finance chief Les Ford.
Cllr Ford is due to tell Cheshire West and Chester’s ruling Tory controlled Executive at an HQ meeting on Tuesday the increase for an average band D property would be 46p per week.
Communities Secretary Eric Pickles has warned councils they must not use loopholes to avoid holding local referendums on rises of more than 2%.
Cllr Ford argues the authority, created in 2009, has endeavoured to ensure council tax increases are held below the level of inflation and delivered a small reduction to hard pressed occupiers in the borough.
Accepting a council tax freeze proposed by the government would require the council to maintain council tax at 2012/13 levels and give up any income that would be brought in by a council tax increase.
“This would be a permanent reduction in the council’s funding base which would need to be replaced by alternative funding or further savings in 2015/16 when the council tax freeze grant dropped out,” he insists.
He believes the Whitehall grant should be declined ‘due to the short term nature of the funding and its inconsistency with the council’s intention to undertake four year financial planning and protect key services’.
The 1.9% increase, if approved by the full council, would be ‘significantly below’ the 2.7% general rate of cost inflation, Cllr Ford will suggest.
The council argues that during its first four years, it has reduced its cost to taxpayers by £60m.