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(February 21, 2010)
COUNCIL Tax bills in Warminster are to soar by more than £30 in April at a time when many people are on short hours, have suffered pay cuts or lengthy pay freezes.
Councillors will confirm the worst on Tuesday but we have done the calculations and can reveal that the tax in this town will rise by 2.087 per cent when the precepts from the town council, fire brigade and police auithority are included.
Last year a Band D home with two or more people resident paid £1,484.63 but from April this rises to £1,515.60.
All other bandings are related to this benchmark Band D figure so a band A house will pay 6/9th of this, a band B 7/9th, band C 8/9th, band E 11/9th and so on.
The town council element of the rise is £2.44.
Our calculations suggest, ceteris paribus, that if a major loan is set up for the Assembly Rooms the cost to the Warminster Band D taxpayer will be £20 higher a year (for 25 years) than if the Assembly Hall didn't exist.
(NB This figure could be higher if the trading performance of the Assembly Hall is worse than anticipated although the rise in the Warminster tax base over time caused by additional house-building will lessen the cost somewhat).
''We were promised that the unitary council would bring savings but yet again we face a big bill at a time when many are facing tough times,'' said former county member Steve Dancey.
''Yet again we look over the county boundary an see that Somerset, our nearest neighbours for Warminster are getting off lightly with a zero per cent rise.
''WC needs to get a grip on its spending as the bloated public sector can't be allowed to keep on growing like this each year.''

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