Households across England are facing the biggest council tax rises since 2004 in a move that could plunge thousands into debt.
New bands announced by the government will see the largest average monthly bills increase by over 5%.
Over 90% of councils – some 150 local authorities – are expected to take advantage of the leeway given by ministers to raise the rates.
Dramatic increases in adult social care costs have been blamed for the rates rise.
For the year 2018-9, families living in a Band D home will pay an average of £1,671, an increase of £81.
Town halls across the country are being given the opportunity to hike prices by as much as 5.99%.
London living easy
Councils in London will charge the lowest increase while rural areas of England will see the largest rates rise.
Houses or properties are charged council tax at a rate proportional to their overall value.
The exact amount charged to each household depends on the local authority area you live in.
Council tax is used to pay for services like bin collections, education budgets and street repairs.
Government ministers defended the rates rise, saying that Labour-controlled councils in rural and metropolitan areas were wasting taxpayers money, while Tory councils were best at keeping costs down.
Rural areas pay more
The average council tax bills in places known as Shire areas, these are areas not around a major town or city, will be highest at £1,749, an increase of £86 a year.
The Conservatives stand accused of playing partisan politics with people’s lives.
Of the top 10 highest rate rises, six are in Labour-controlled areas like the North West, East Midlands and Yorkshire.
Cut bills to keep calm
Comparing prices for vital utilities will become ever more important as households face yet another squeeze.
Real wages are falling as inflation overtakes weak pay rises, so families now have less to spend on the same services.