OBSERVER: The devil’s in the detail when it comes to council tax

Your letters, emails and opinions - Boston Standard, Lincolnshire: bostonstandard.co.uk, on Twitter @standardboston
Your letters, emails and opinions - Boston Standard, Lincolnshire: bostonstandard.co.uk, on Twitter @standardboston

Mindful of past comments from certain quarters of the West Street offices that I don’t check my facts – unlike, apparently, they do – I decided this week to write about the council tax rise of 0 per cent.

Which when you come to look at it, in total, is in some cases a rise.

The borough has made quite a bit of noise about the fact it is not increasing the rates again this year. Agreed, the borough is not. But when you take into account the rates levied by the county, police and, most importantly those in the Boston Town area, there is an increase.

The ‘special precept’ for the Boston Town area has increased in total from £83,466 this year to £104,419 for the new tax year, a whopping increase. So when is an increase not an increase?

Well, as far as the borough is concerned, there is no increase. True.

But, adding in the precepts, there is an increase.

But not the council’s share; hence the big news that the rate is being kept as zero. Except it isn’t! Still with me?

It was a crafty move by the council to transfer the running of Garfit’s Lane playing field to the Town Area Committee – thus ensuring the expense came off their budget and was transferred to that committee’s budget.

But then, in a sleight of hand, they increased the grant to that committee to cover the expenses of the playing field; so where’s the saving?

I understand the county has not increased its rate for the year, but it seems they are still prepared to use the contributions paid by Boston and other towns in the county towards schemes benefitting Lincoln only.

The police committee rate has gone up slightly – something I don’t think many people will object to, especially as the new commissioner appears to have got his finger on the pulse of what needs to be done pretty quickly.

Regardless of that, don’t be fooled into thinking we’re not going to pay more...

Observer