The county council, which is the largest precepting authority, is proposing a 2.99 per cent increase for 2022/23, 1.99 per cent for general fund services and one per cent for adult social care.
This would mean an average increase of £45.18 a year for a Band D property, before any council tax rises are approved by district and boroughs or the Police and Crime Commissioner.
Last year (2021/22) the county council increased its share of the precept by 4.99 per cent. The year before (2020/21) that it was 3.99 per cent, and for 2019/20 it was 4.99 per cent.
A similar increase of 4.95 per cent was agreed in 2018/19.
The draft 2022/23 revenue budget is £648million and the proposed five-year capital programme amounts to £755million.
A total of £11m of savings are planned, alongside extra investment in adult social care and children’s services.
This includes £7.5m to support changes in population and the increasing complexity of care. There is also a total of £16.7m to reflect the increase in costs, for both the county council and its providers, due to increases in the National Living Wage, the new National Insurance rate and general costs of inflation.
Investment of £2.7m towards the increase in demand for children’s services is proposed as well as £400,000 for an in-house residential strategy, £1.8m for a fostering redesign and £300,000 for children’s emotional wellbeing and mental health services.
A further £1m would be available to support the children first improvement programme.
Jeremy Hunt, West Sussex County Council’s cabinet member for finance, said: “This budget strengthens our financial resilience and has intelligent investments that will make a real difference for the residents of our county. The funding will ensure the continued delivery of our important day to day services, as well as investing in areas of growth that all our residents will benefit from for many years to come.
“We have now lived through almost two years of pandemic pressures, with all the associated uncertainty. This is a budget where we have made sure there are no additional savings for the year ahead and instead have looked at ways to best invest for the good of residents.
“A key priority is in meeting our commitment to protect the vulnerable. This can be seen in our firm investment in adult and children services, including support for vital safeguarding services.
“We’ve also dedicated capital investment to tackling climate change. The climate crisis is clearly a serious risk that will continue to rise in prominence. We are taking action now to protect all our futures.
“I’m very pleased to be able to bring these responsible and positive budget proposals for consideration at our Budget Council meeting next month.”