Low tax bills for town houses

IPSWICH households pay less council tax – on average – than almost anywhere else in Suffolk according to government figures.The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister has published figures showing that the average council tax bill for homes in Ipswich during 2003/4 was £925.

IPSWICH households pay less council tax – on average – than almost anywhere else in Suffolk according to government figures.

The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister has published figures showing that the average council tax bill for homes in Ipswich during 2003/4 was £925.

In Suffolk Coastal householders paid an average of £987, in Babergh £1,020, and in Mid Suffolk £1,026.

However when council tax tables are published, Ipswich is always at the top in the county.


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The disparity is because Ipswich has a much higher proportion of smaller homes in lower council tax bands than other councils.

The government regards Band D as "average" but in Ipswich 87 per cent of homes are in bands A, B and C.

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In the more rural districts there are more larger homes in higher bands.

Ipswich council deputy leader David Ellesmere said the figures bore out what his authority had always said about its council tax bills.

"Because there are more homes in the lower bands that is always going to have an effect on the way we raise our money – but we have always said we offer good value for money," he said.

The figures were used by Bury St Edmunds MP David Ruffley who warned that households could end up paying much more if Liberal Democrat proposals for a local income tax were introduced.

He warned that such a tax on families with an average income could cost an average couple £557 more in Ipswich and £618 more in Mid Suffolk, part of which is in his constituency.

"The Liberals keep saying that average people would be no worse off with a local income tax – these figures suggest that is not the case," he said.

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