PAPERS submitted to Burnley Council's executive tomorrow night indicate the authority is set to increase its council tax by the maximum 2.99 per cent permitted without a referendum from April 1.

The proposed rise is included in a report on the authority's Revenue Budget 2024/25.

It says: "The proposals in this paper assume that the Council’s Band D council tax will increase by 2.99 per cent from the 2023/24 level of £328.01 to £337.82.

"This level of charge will yield an estimated total income of £8,054,980.

"Guidance has been received from central government on the criteria for council tax increases that would trigger a local referendum.

"This guidance indicates that “if an authority’s relevant basic amount of council tax is excessive a referendum must be held in relation to that amount”.

"For 2024/25, the relevant basic amount of council tax of a shire district council is excessive if the authority’s relevant basic amount of council tax for 2024/25 is three per cent, or more than three per cent greater than its relevant basic amount of council tax for 2023/24.

"When setting the budget for 2023/24 the referendum limit was also three per cent, an increase from the two referendum limit in 2022/23.

"As part of the provisional financial settlement in December 2023, central government assumed that all local authorities would increase their council tax by the maximum allowable when calculating their core spending power.

"The financial impact each year of not increasing council tax at all is an additional pressure of around £233,000 assuming a 2.99 per cent rise is foregone.

"Over the five-year medium term financial strategy period this would result in a loss of income of £1,165,000.

"The increase is required to protect the services provided by the council, to fund economic and community recovery initiatives required as a result of the cost-of-living crisis in additional to the impact of ongoing financial pressures faced by the council."

Burnley's portion of borough residents' total council tax bills is small compared to those of Lancashire County Council - which provides major services such as education, children's and adult social care, and highways - and the police and fire and rescue services.

Last year Burnley Council increased its council tax by 2.99 per cent.

The authority's bill for municipal services for 2023/24 rose to £218.67 for a terraced Band A house and to £328.01 for a Band D semi-detached family home.