A council leader says his authority has “little choice” but to opt for a 4.84% tax increase for the coming year.
Aberdeenshire Council has overwhelmingly backed the hike, the highest permitted by the Scottish Government. It will be introduced from April 1.
The council will receive £455 million if the budget is agreed by Scottish Government minister, but the authority is looking to fill a £27m financial black hole.
Leader Jim Gifford insists it will help to maintain services.
Mr Gifford said: “The magnitude of funding reductions that we must consider, in order to produce a balanced budget, means we have little choice this year but to look to using that full council tax raising power.
“We don’t take this decision lightly, but we must act responsibly and consider all options available.”
Opposition group leader, Councillor Richard Thomson, said his group “fully endorses” the increase. He added the decision taken by officials at Woodhill House was providing “certainty” for the people of the region.
Mr Thomson said: “There is significant uncertainty around budgets in all parts of these islands at the moment.
Aberdeenshire Council sets Council Tax for 2020/21 at 4.84%. This means an average Band D household will pay £1,300 in Council Tax – an extra £5 per month or £1.15 a week compared to last year.
— AberdeenshireCouncil (@Aberdeenshire) February 13, 2020
“The Westminster Government is not setting its budget until March 11 and this has completely banjaxed the Scottish Government’s normal budget setting process and by extension, for local government.
“In an environment of uncertainty, it is up to us as local representatives in Aberdeenshire to provide as much certainty as we can.”
Councillors also agreed to increase rent for council tenants by 5.5% for 2020-21, about £4.27 extra a week.
Councillor Anne Stirling said the changes will help with improvements to housing stock.
She added: “The increase in rent is to be set at 5.5%, which is equivalent to average weekly increase of £4.27.
“We are charged with making sure the rent we set is affordable.
“The housing service will drive improvements and modernise.
“The work never stops and a great deal has already been achieved.”
A Scottish Government spokesman said: “Despite a real terms reduction of £840m to Scotland’s discretionary resource budget allocation since 2010-11, we have ensured our partners in local government receive a fair funding settlement that supports vital public services.
“Local authorities will receive total funding from the Scottish Government of £11.3 billion in 2020-21. In 2020-21, Aberdeenshire Council will receive £489.4m to fund local services.
“Taken together with the potential to increase council tax by 3% in real terms, Aberdeenshire Council will have an extra £33.4m to support its day-to-day services in 2020-21 – an additional 7.8% on 2019-20.”