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Council Tax Rant


brumster
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So I'm curious how people view their council tax rates. We've had our annual bill through and it's just getting to the point where it is an utter joke, to be honest. We've been in this house since 2004, it started at ~£1400 and now, in 2018, it has reached double that. Looking through past bills, it has consistently gone up £100 every year since 2011, it was steady for a while over 2006-2010, and there was a proportionnaly big hike just after we moved in, in 2005.

 

When you consider that, over recent years, the actual service delivered by North Warwickshire has degraded significantly - and I really do mean that, there is evidence everywhere - I find it frustrating, insulting and downright aggravating to be asked to pay this money for the *bleep*hole that we now live in.

- Cut street lighting

- Roads in dreadful state

- Waste service fortnightly, nothing like what it was in 2004

- Only recent moves (last 2 years) to put decent grade telecomms in the area

- Streets no longer cleaned that I'm aware of (of if so, very infrequently now)

- Policing is now woeful (I won't share how or why I know but, trust me, it is), crime on the up

- Education quality in the area dropping slowly

 

What's it like in your area? Am I not alone?

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Double that again for us Dan, we have a view & precious little else. No street lights,just had the snow drifts cleared for single lane traffic, no rural police,street cleaning only happens when it rains ( & blocks the gullies -- no link man these days )

Local council blames central government & they are too busy claiming expenses/going on fact finding tours abroad.

Where does it end --- only with you & I ( & the rest of home owners ) grumbling & paying up in the finish.

 

Just don't mention business rates -------------

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That's the thing isn't it, you just have to "suck it up, buttercup"... absolutely no way to refute it, and no-one pushing back with our interests in hand. I'll probably write a letter, but to be honest half of me thinks "save your ink and blood pressure" as it won't achieve anything. They didn't even make an attempt at a covering note this year, which they've done in previous years to somehow explain/exhonorate the increases. This year, couldn't be arsed... "here's your bill, like it or lump it". It's one thing if the services had somehow seen in investment or improvement but this area is slowly dwindling into nothing. People in central solihull and london pay lower rates than us!

 

It's an utter insult. It's a good job I'm not typing what I'm saying because I think the forum swear filter would crash the server. Utterly fuming here. 12 years with no pay rise for me, yet the local council thinks they can butt-**** me every year for another 5%.... well, I tell you what North Warks, we are OFF as soon as we can find somewhere, thankyou very much. Enough is enough.

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I know what you mean - just got my bill through...

 

Difficult to know what to say - despite every public service always complaining about cuts, a mate of mine is a policeman and he worked overtime last weekend, not because it was needed but because his force had spare budget left over and if they didn't use it, they'd get a lower budget next time. :wacko:

 

Taxes are never popular but how else do we pay for all these services? We could privatise everything and then you would need to book a binman to come round every week and a road repairer to fix the pothole in your road. If your car is nicked, you'd have to pay a policeman to investigate. Obviously, you'd have to buy health insurance or just pay every time you went to the doctor (my brother lives in America - that system isn't great).

 

Would it work out cheaper? Maybe, if you didn't get anything nicked and were very healthy.

 

In reality, crap as it feels, other systems have been tried and nothing is perfect - and, sadly, moving isn't going to help. You'll just swap one load of poo for another load of poo :glare:

 

Go for a drive - that'll improve things :)

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It's not the concept of tax really, it's more specifics of this area and council. I'm sure others are in a similar position, but there is a noticeable degradation in the services to the borough. Our local police station was closed and levelled last year, all police is now done out of Bedworth, which is half an hour away in a car cross-country. Response times in the area for various crime (which has been on the up, word gets around quite quickly in our small little village, it's quite "cliquey" like that) are fairly abysmal now and I'm sure the criminals know. There is a police state just a few miles away over the county border (Solihul) but of course they won't respond to our incidents.

 

Policing's not everything of course, there's plenty of other aspects. The general state of the footpaths, roadways, the maintenance done on them and the sidings (we are semi-rural), etc. There is literally nothing that has improved in the area over the last, say, 5 years despite costs consistently going up - and in most cases, services have clearly reduced or degraded in some way. Which really puts the steady cost increases into a bad light, particularly with the local parish council.

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That was called poll tax Richard, personally we would have benefited with a lower cost --- but friends/acquaintences of that period ( mid '70's ?? ) who didn't own property just moved on to other rented accommodation & didn't register to vote. They figured not being able to vote was worth the few hundred pounds they saved each year.

Salisbury Police Station is now a sixth form college & Wiltshire Police spend £750,000 transporting supposed felons to Melksham.

 

And a memory from the past --- when I was teaching at local tech I had a memo every March to plead for items to purchase to use the remaining budget.

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If only there was a system that was based on the number of occupants in a property so every adult living there contributed. Surely that would work?

 

Works for me! My council tax went down this year, regained my single person discount, just another silver lining :rofl:

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I think it's the same most places to one degree or another. Ours keeps creeping up year on year. The recycling centre we had went and the money saved went to upgrading the one in the neighbouring towns 7 miles away. The free service we had to empty our garden waste bins is now subscription only, the police station has gone leaving cash machine robbers ten minutes clear time before anybody can get here on blue lights. The council offices have gone, just a few things I can think of.

We have got a couple of very good schools though and not a single traffic light and parking is still free.

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Have any of you considered getting on the counsel and improving things? Not my way of doing things either, just a thought.

Don't get me started about health care in America. We are even considering moving to the UK since my wife is still considered a citizen there. You've been forewarned. :pardon:

The pot growers all around here give nothing to the tax base since everything they do is in cash. Then they whine about being poor and use all the social services that are really needed of the (genuine) poor. Our taxes are limited to increasing 1% of purchased assessed property value per year for as long as you own the house. On resale the fee charge is reassessed. And you can be sure they increase it the full 1% each year, as with you without improvements. Death and taxes, the only for sure's! :unsure:

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