Council tax in Kirklees will not go up 6% if the Conservatives get their way, the party has said.
Kirklees Tories have submitted their alternative plan for the borough’s budget for the next two years.
There was shock last month when the ruling Labour group revealed it wanted to hike council tax by 5.99% in 2018/19 – following a 5% increase this year.
Residents had already been warned a 5% rise was coming next year, but an extra 1% was added at the last minute after the government relaxed the council tax cap in late December, to allow embattled local authorities to raise more cash.
The extra 1% will raise an additional £1.6m in revenue for council coffers.
Now the Kirklees Conservative group has said it would reverse the council tax rise back down to 4.9%.
It says it can save money in other areas, including back office functions and by delaying Labour’s plans to spend £45m on town centre revamps over a longer period.
Other items in the Conservative amendment to Labour’s budget include reducing Labour’s £1.9m cut to libraries to only £900,000 and pumping an extra £8.5m into resurfacing the borough’s crumbling roads.
They have also said they would not increase parking charges, something Labour is planning after 10 years without any rise.
Other commitments include an increase in street cleaning and no cuts to social services.
Conservative leader, Clr David Hall, said: “Labour’s budget is a product of their eight years of mis-management of the council finances.
“They blame everyone else except themselves for the poor state of our borough, yet it is they who have made the wrong choices about how to spend council taxpayers’ money.
“They have failed year on year to offer value for money.
“These proposals show an ambition for our borough, maintaining the services which people value whilst keeping the council tax increases as low as possible.”
The Examiner has not been provided with the figures behind the Conservative group’s changes.
Members of all parties of the council will get the chance to vote on the alternative plan at the budget setting meeting next Wednesday.
The Tories are outnumbered by Labour councillors and so will need support from Lib Dem, Green or independent councillors to get their ideas passed.
The Lib Dems and Greens are also likely to submit changes to Labour’s budget.
Senior Labour councillors have been in negotiations with their rivals for the past few weeks in a bid to secure support at the Valentine’s Day budget showdown.
Labour’s budget for the next two years features £13m investment in a new sports centre at Liversedge and £45m of spending on town centres.
But it also requires £16m of cuts in 2018/19, followed by £29m in 2019/20.
Kirklees Council says it has suffered a huge £197m cut in funding from the government – about 60% of its budget – over the past decade.
The massive loss of income is thought to be one of the largest in the country.
The council is now the seventh worst funded per person in England and Wales and the second worst of the major borough authorities. Only Trafford has less cash per head.