BLACKBURN with Darwen residents could see their annual council tax bill rise by £24.

Proposals to increase council tax in the borough by 2.99 per cent are set to go before members at a finance council meeting next week.

The proposed increase is the maximum allowed by Government without the need for a local referendum.

It works out as a weekly increase of 84p for band D council tax payers and of 56p for band A council tax payers.

In setting its council tax requirement, the council takes into account any funding from reserves, income it expects to raise and general funding it will receive from government as part of the local government finance settlement.

In a report to be presented at the meeting, borough resources chief Cllr Andy Kay said: "Blackburn with Darwen has the second lowest council tax in Lancashire.

"Council tax levels had remained frozen at their 2010/11 levels for 5 years until 2016/17 when, given the scale of the budget gap, the council adopted a 1.99 per cent increase in 2016/17 alongside reductions in expenditure and increases in other available income streams.

"Within the financial settlement for 2018/19, the government announced an increase in the referendum cap for 2018/19 and 2019/20 from 2 per cent to 3 per cent.

"The Government has made it clear that they wish for councils to progress quickly towards becoming self-sufficient through the income they generate, of which council tax is the most significant source of income.

"This is difficult to achieve in Blackburn with Darwen given the profile of the properties that are chargeable to council tax across the borough which, despite the impact of the increase in the number, type and size of properties built through the Housing Growth Programme, and unlike many other councils across the country, is significantly weighted towards those which generate a lower yield."

According to the report, of 60,380 properties in the borough where council tax can be charged, there are 34,837 (57.7 per cent) band A properties where residents will pay the lowest rate on the scale.

In contrast, there are just 70 band H rated properties where residents will pay 200 per cent of the band D rate.

In neighbouring Hyndburn, bosses are proposing to increase council tax by two per cent - a rise of £5 for band D properties in 2019/20.