Ministers have claimed victory against high-spending councils after Midland authorities escaped council tax capping by keeping bills down.
Last year four authorities in the region were told their proposed council tax increases were too high, and were either capped or threatened with capping.
The result was a bitter row between Midland authorities and the Government, as councillors claimed vital services would be cut.
But Local Government Minister Nick Raynsford revealed all four authorities were to escape capping this year because they had avoided excessive increases.
Speaking to The Birmingham Post, he said this showed the Government had been right to take a tough line.
He said: "There is pretty clear evidence that people learned a lesson.
"None of the authorities affected by capping last year have been capped this time around."
Herefordshire Council was capped last year after proposing an increase of 8.9 per cent, while Telford District Council was warned it would capped in future, after it proposed a 9.8 per cent increase.
But this year the authorities have proposed increases of 4.3 per cent and 4.5 per cent per cent respectively.
Hereford and Worcester Fire Authority was capped after proposing a 29.4 per cent increase in its precept, which is added on to council tax bills in the area it serves.
This year it has kept the rise down to 4.6 per cent.
And West Mercia Police was capped last year after it increased bills by 14.9 per cent.
This year it is keeping the increase down to 4 per cent.
Overall, the average council tax increase nationwide was 4.1 per cent.
Mr Raynsford said: "This is the lowest council tax increase in more than a decade and the second lowest ever."
But the Government wanted annual rises to become lower still, he said.
Sir Michael Lyons, the former chief executive of Birmingham City Council, is leading a Government inquiry into fundamental reform of the council tax.
Speaking in the Commons, Mr Raynsford said nine authorities in other parts of the country were to be capped for "excessive" tax rises.
Seven of the nine are Tory controlled: Aylesbury Vale, Daventry, Hambleton, Huntingdonshire, Mid Bedfordshire, Runnymede and Sedgemoor. In North Dorset and South Cambridgeshire no party has an overall majority.
Conservative local government spokesman Eric Pickles accused the Government playing politics because of the imminent General Election.
He said: "For eight years this Government has wrung its hands and done nothing. It has watched council tax go through the roof.
"It has seen council tax go up by over 70 per cent. It has seen a typical household bill exceed #100-a-month.
"But now 43 days before a General Election, you have decided to do something."