£250,000 for a replacement bill?

On the same day you vote for your MP and Central Beds councillor (and maybe even town or parish councillor), if you live in Bedfordshire, you’ll also get the chance to vote on whether the Beds Police & Crime Commissioner, Olly Martins should get a 15.8% increase in council tax funding.

Mr Martins’ reasons can be seen here:

Click to access BPCC_REG_11.pdf

In order for the police to receive the 15.8% increase, council tax bills in Central Beds, Luton and Bedford have, legally, been increased by this amount in advance of the vote itself.

However, if the public vote against the rise you will be sent a revised reduced bill. Olly Martins has confirmed these new bills will cost the three councils some £250,000 to send out. The councils will in turn bill the police for this.

Some might suggest it would make more sense to offer a council tax rebate the following year instead, but according to Central Beds Council:

“Local authorities have the discretion to rebill, refund or roll any credit forward into the next financial year. All three Bedfordshire authorities have decided that the most expedient and efficient option would be to rebill all residents.”

So it looks like come 8th May, Mr Martins will either have £4.5m more or £250,000 less to spend.