PETWORTH Town Council is raising its share of council tax by almost 30 per cent next year.
This year town councillors increased their precept by 50 per cent taking it to £81,800.
And in March council tax payers will see it increase again to £106,200.
But, despite the massive hike in percentage, it will mean a 35p increase in the town council’s portion of the tax bill for average Band D tax payers.
One of the reasons for the increase is an £11,000 raise in the clerking salary going from £20,000 this year to £31,000 in 2016-2-17.
In addition there will be a £8960 repayment for the £80,000 loan taken out with the Public Works Loan Board to pay for the two new play parks in Petworth.
The original intention of taking a £50,000 loan for the two play areas has risen to £80,000.
This was agreed by the town council in September after a recommendation from the council’s financial consultant to take into account VAT which could be claimed back.
The council will be making annual payments of £8,960 for ten years.
Town councillors have also taken a £10,000 loan to pay for the long awaited skatepark if plans go forward in the next financial year with annual repayments of £1,22l.
In addition Chichester District Council holds a further £50,000 for the skate park project.
A further £10,000 has been earmarked for long overdue street light refurbishment and £3,000 for a new bus shelter in Dawtrey Road.
There is an additional £10,000 set aside in the town council budget to carry out work recommended by the traffic consultant.
The consultant was commissioned this year to give advice on traffic management in Petworth.
Refurbishment of sign posts in the historic market town will be carried out at a cost of £1,000 and a £500 contribution to the cost of producing Petworth Pages has also been set aside.
For the first time next year an allowance for the chairman has been allocated, with £500 set aside in the budget.
Before Christmas town council chairman Chris Kemp warned town councillors they would have to feel comfortable they could justify the rise.
But he added: “If we don’t look at the budget sensibly we will sit around for another 12 months because we have no money to do anything.”
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