AFTER Somerset Council announced its balanced budget, it was confirmed that residents in the county will see an increase in their council tax.

Council tax is calculated on the basis of a banding system which was brought in by the Conservatives in the early-1990s to replace the unpopular poll tax.

Council tax rises are often described in relation to a Band D property, which is taken as an average – the lower your band, the less you will pay.

Somerset has a relatively low council tax base, with 65 per cent of its properties being in Bands A, B or C.

Councillor Liz Leyshon, deputy leader of the council, said: “If we had Dorset Council’s council tax base, we would have £53m more to spend in the revenue budget.

“It simply does not add up – you would almost think the new Somerset Council
was set up to fail.”

Council tax can only be raised by a maximum of 4.99 per cent each year – of which two per cent has to be spent on adult social care, leaving 2.99 per cent for other day-to-day services, such as road repairs, rubbish collection and protecting vulnerable children.

The council had asked the government for a one-off rise of ten per cent, which councillors argued would bring it more in line with Dorset and its other immediate neighbours.

But the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC) denied this request in early-February – depriving the council of a further £17.1m of potential funding.

Under the approved budget, the council’s share of a Band D council tax bill will rise by £82.14 a year to £1,728.18 – a rise of £1.58 a week.

Your council tax bill will also include contributions to Avon and Somerset Constabulary (which agreed an increase of £13 a year in early-February), Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service (a 2.99 per cent rise) and your local town, parish or city council – the latter of which can raise its share of council tax by as much as it likes.

Taken as an average, the average council tax bill in Somerset for 2024/25 will be £2,267.03 a year – a rise of £150.94, or 7.13 per cent, compared to the 2023/24 financial year.

Council tax support is available for numerous people, including single occupants and those on low incomes – so please visit the council’s website,, to see if you are eligible for support if you are struggling.