Council tax is set to be frozen in Birmingham as the authority takes advantage of Government plans to give authorities a bonus grant if they keep taxes down.
Officials are putting the finishing touches to a budget that will freeze council tax at the current rate of £1,113.67 for a band D property.
It follows a Government pledge that councils which freeze taxes will receive a share of a £650 million fund.
Birmingham is set to receive around £8.3 million, although this is dwarfed by the £105 million cut in central government grant which the authority will be forced to cope with.
Treasury funding for the city council, including the basic “formula grant” and other specific grants, is to fall from £932.6 million in 2010-11 to £827.2 million in 2011-12, a reduction of £105.4 million.
The council tax freeze will be considered by the city council cabinet, and then sent to a meeting of the full council for approval. A formal announcement will be made by the authority when the proposed budget for 2011-12 is published.
Residents may still face higher bills if other authorities, such as West Midlands Police or Fire authorities, decided to increase the precept they add to local taxes.
The police precept for 2010-11 was £99.45 in the West Midlands. However, West Midlands Police chief constable Chris Sims has suggested that the police precept may have to rise after Government funding for the force was cut by £60 million over two years.
Local Government Secretary Eric Pickles has praised what he calls “can-do” councils which are freezing council tax bills.
He said: “This shows that local authorities can keep taxes down and protect frontline services. Driving down the nation’s deficit is the Governments biggest priority but we have made sure that extra money is available to protect the public from council tax rises offering real help to hard working families and pensioners.
“The new localism powers and spending freedoms we are handing councils will help them be as efficient and effective as possible.”
* Voting for an elected mayor in Birmingham will cost almost £1.5 million, a Government report reveals. Officials at the Department for Communities and Local Government have put the cost of elections in 2013 and 2017 at a total of £1.48 million, while a planned referendum on creating a mayor in 2012 will cost £322,000.