COUNCIL taxpayers may have to hand over another £5 a year to fund West Yorkshire's fire service.
The forecast of a 15% rise in the bill was made today as fire chiefs wait to know how much Government cash they will get.
Fire authority chairman Clr Harry Fox said: "We would be pleasantly surprised if it was more than 3% above the present year's grant."
Provisional plans for the 2004/05 spending budget show that £86m will be needed to protect existing levels of services.
Clr Fox said there was little room for trimming as roughly 90% of increased costs were due to the firefighters' pay award.
The authority expects to hear in the next few weeks if there will be any short-term Government money to help with the pay award.
Clr Fox said: "At this stage, however, our best estimate is that the average council taxpayer could have to find another 10p a week to fund West Yorkshire fire service."