Three-quarters of Aberdeenshire residents taking part in a consultation favoured a “modest increase” in council tax.
Members of the public were urged to have their say over the local authority’s spending plans for the next financial year.
The results of the consultation, which ran over September and October, will be presented to a meeting of all Aberdeenshire councillors on Thursday.
It shows three-quarters of the 286 respondents would opt for a “modest increase” to council tax – an average rise of 2.36%.
The council’s leader Jim Gifford said: “It has proved to be a very worthwhile exercise and we thank everyone who took part.
“Interestingly, the average amount of time the participants spent on this consultation was 20 minutes, which shows they took it very seriously indeed.
“We have had quite a lot of feedback from people who took part who have said ‘we understand now how it is so hard for councillors to balance the books and come out with a budget each year’.”
He added: “Technology is helping us make key decisions.
“In previous years, we would hold a series of roadshow meetings ahead of the budget in six locations across Aberdeenshire – and it is fair to say that the responses we’ve had in this consultation are better and more detailed than we got from those roadshows.
“We will study all the responses and they will feed into the decision-making process.”
More than half of respondents want no cuts or to increase spending on schools.
One respondent said: “Education should remain a priority, even if that means increasing the council tax or reducing bin collections.
“More staff are needed in schools and schools urgently need to be better resourced.”
More than 60% of respondents want the council to increase commercial income and 49 think it should increase fees and charges at the rate of inflation.
Most respondents also favoured protecting “essential services” or “services for vulnerable people” or spreading the cuts evenly across all services.
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Meanwhile, it has emerged the ability for the council to set its own budget for the next financial year next February is currently “under review”.
The main income stream to the council, outwith council tax and business rates, is the revenue grant received from the Scottish Government which is normally announced as part of a Scottish budget in December and then confirmed before the start of the financial year on February 13.
However, the report highlights that for this to happen, a UK Government budget is required first.
It adds: “At present both the UK and Scottish Governments have cancelled their planned budget announcement and have not yet reset these dates.
“Therefore, the ability to discuss, prioritise and set a fully costed and deliverable budget for the next financial year on February 13 2020 is currently under review.”
The report will be considered by councillors at Woodhill House.