4th Jul, 2022

No council tax hike to fund West Midlands mayor's office, Andy Street pledges

John Carlon 12th Mar, 2020 Updated: 12th Mar, 2020

WEST MIDLANDS ratepayers will not pay a mayoral precept this year.

The decision by regional mayor Andy Street follows a similar decision in 2018, where councillors forced him to scrap the precept.

Instead, government cash will allow Mr Street to meet his spending commitments.

The elected mayor has the power to raise a “Mayoral precept” to council tax to pay for new infrastructure projects and to fund the running his office.

The West Midlands Combined Authority said: “The Mayor has been able to give this commitment until at least May 2024 because there are a number of alternatives to bring in funding for transport, housing and jobs in the region:

“These include over £2.3 billion of extra government investment in the region since May 2017, with more expected as the Government has committed to ‘levelling up’ the regions of the UK

“We can also retain other taxes such as Stamp Duty, Vehicle Excise Duty and the Energy Company Obligation for use in the region, similar to the Business Rates Retention pilot.

“We also expect funding from the UK Shared Prosperity Fund, which will replace EU structural funds

“Potential deals with UK and international investors for hundreds of millions of pounds to pay for transport infrastructure projects.”

Andy Street said, “I am delighted that I have been able to give this commitment not to increase bills for council taxpayers in the West Midlands.

“The West Midlands has come together to bring in more money from Government and is looking to attract private sector investment.

“We are working hard to keep costs as low as possible, and as the Government works to ‘level up’ the regions of the UK, we will push to secure more funding for the West Midlands.”

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