Tax bills to go down if budget is approved

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COUNCIL tax rates for services provided by South Oxfordshire District Council will go down this April, if the 2012/13 budget is approved next week.

The cabinet has voted in favour of approving the budget which includes reducing the district council tax by 2.5 per cent.

This means that if it is approved by council on Friday (after this paper went to press), those living in an average Band D property will pay £120.64 for services provided by the district council, a £3.11 reduction from the previous year.

The reduction in council tax is just one of a number of initiatives in the budget designed to help residents during the current economic climate. Those looking to get on the housing ladder could receive a boost from £550,000 additional funding for the council’s Open Market Homebuy Scheme which works to provide loans to assist with the purchase of a home on the open market.

Those working in South Oxfordshire’s towns will benefit as season tickets for parking in district council car parks will be reduced by 50 per cent from April 1 and from April 14 parking will be free for much of Saturday afternoons.

Councillor David Dodds, cabinet member for finance, said: “Our 2012/13 budget has a range of initiatives designed to ensure that individuals and communities throughout South Oxfordshire have that little bit more money to go towards things they really need rather than paying extra for things such as parking or council tax.”

Councillor Ann Ducker, leader of the council, said: “Our careful financial management, along with shared working arrangements and other internal efficiencies, have meant that we are currently in a much better position than most other areas.

“This means that we can continue to invest in, and support, our communities, while not cutting any of our frontline services.”

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