You’re being Stealth Taxed by Eastleigh Borough Council. The council doesn’t want you to know this… but we do. Here’s a list of stealth taxes you’re being charged, why they’re doing it and how to stop it.
I think the best place to start is to basically give you a list of how you’re being Stealth Taxed and then we discuss:
- Paid parking permits
- Council tax
- Burial fees
- New Parish councils
- Service charges (like that on new build estates)
- Administration fees
- Community facility fees (like football pitches)
Why am I being ‘Stealth Taxed’?
Obviously, in some instances, you won’t be charged these. For example, if you have a driveway, you won’t have to pay £50 a year to park your car near your house. However, on things like Parish councils you’re definitely paying as part of your council tax.
Despite what I’ve just said, the majority of people in Eastleigh are being charged these Stealth Taxes and it comes down to two reasons. Firstly, Eastleigh Borough Council claims it never puts up Council tax – to an extent that’s true… but it isn’t because they just get the cash elsewhere. With parking permits, burial fees and admin fees, it’s a different line item so you don’t associate these with tax (although they are). These are just examples and there are more.
The second reason you’re being charged these is the age old tactic of blaming someone else. For example, if a Parish Council puts it’s budget up, Eastleigh Borough Council can blame the Parish Council. In the case of admin fees on a new housing development, the council can blame the developer. It’s a very neat political move that hides the councils sins. They still receive the admin fees but it goes via a private company and then arrives with your Council Tax.
Okay… so what is the financial impact?
The financial impact of Stealth Taxes depends on your exposure. Let me give you an example (a real one):
I live in Eastleigh, in a new build. I am a nurse and have a child. My husband is a plumber and likes his sport. I part-own my house with my husband. I lost a relative during Covid-19 and scattered their ashes locally.Amy, Eastleigh, Jan 21
So obviously I spoke to Amy and she told me she pays £155 a month in council tax, pays for two parking permits (£30 a year and £50 a year), pays for green waste bin (£3 a month) and she pays an estate charge (£15 a month). That means she pays 179.50 a month in tax. So Amy’s yearly Council Tax bill of £1,860 is actually £2,154. She also paid nearly £100 to scatter her loved ones ashes…
Someone will probably say “get rid of the car or the van” or “don’t live on a new estate” like these are simple decisions you can make just like that. Fact is it simply isn’t fair on Amy or anyone else who’s being stealth taxed like this.
But why Eastleigh residents being Stealth Taxed?
Crucially Eastleigh’s economy props up the local area. These Stealth Taxes (especially the £2 million made a year in Parking Permits) mean that places like Hedge End and West End don’t have their Council Tax increased. So basically, if you have a car and park outside your own house in Eastleigh, you’re funding someone’s Council Tax who has a driveway. To me, that really isn’t fair.
Of course, it isn’t just parking fees, estate admin fees and so on. If you use Fleming Park Leisure Centre or play football or rugby on local pitches, you’re paying a Stealth Tax. I know first hand the many gained from pitch fees doesn’t go to the upkeep of them – it’s just a sneaky way to foot the borrowing bill of Eastleigh Borough Council.
When will you fix this then, Sam?!
Should Eastleigh chose to elect us, we will make challenging Stealth Taxes a priority. We will campaign to:
- Stop paid permitted parking for residents, known as ‘stealth tax’, for at least one car
- Reject new parish councils without fixed funding programme
- Amend current cost agreement with Hampshire County Council to evenly distribute financial responsibility across the borough and not just on Eastleigh
- Create policy that sees burial charges, pitch fees and the like not increased by more than 1% year on year
So that’s what we’ll campaign for on 6th May 2021. You’re going to hear more from us on this and you can contact me for any questions you have. We’re going to keep fighting to make Eastleigh better – with your vote, we’ll make sure of it.