Bills are falling for city taxpayers

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RESIDENTS in Durham City are bucking the tax trend.

Their bills have fallen, while most UK areas have seen them skyrocket since the start of the financial crisis, according to a new study.

Research by accounting group UHY Hacker Young among residents of 50 towns and cities showed that 42 saw average bills rise.

Taxpayers in York saw the biggest increase, paying 31 per cent more tax in 2010 than in 2007, with Winchester just behind, said the report.

In contrast, people in Durham, St Albans, Londonderry, Stoke and Peterborough saw their incomes rise while taxes fell, it was found.

Rob Durrant-Walker, of UHY Hacker Young, said: “For the vast majority of taxpayers the effective tax rate fell during the financial crisis. The tax bill for someone on a static income of £20,000 will have decreased by about 11 per cent over the last three years.

“Of course, that doesn’t reflect the increase in VAT and other indirect taxes.”

Matthew Sinclair, director of the TaxPayers’ Alliance pressure group, said: “High taxes are making life a lot harder for many families struggling to make ends meet in the recession, often now relying on a single income when they would have had two earners before.

“Indirect taxes have also been hiked, from Value Added Tax to Stamp Duty, which means limited household incomes just can’t go as far.”