The East Sussex Fire Authority has set a £50 million budget for the coming financial year including a 2.99 per cent rise in the council tax precept.
Councillors from Brighton and Hove and across East Sussex voted through the 2024-25 budget at a meeting yesterday (Thursday 8 February).
The 2.99 per cent increase in the precept is the most allowed without holding a referendum.
It will mean an increase of £3.12 a year – or 6p a week – for a band D home, taking the precept to £107.49.
The total annual council tax bill for a band D home in Brighton and Hove from April is likely to top £2,300.
In Brighton and Hove, the council tax reduction scheme will insulate some from the full extent of the increase.
Most of the fire authority budget is spent on staff, equipment, training and maintaining community fire stations, other buildings and vehicles.
In Brighton, the fire station at Preston Circus is due to have a multimillion-pound refurbishment.
Fire authority chairman Roy Galley said: “No one on the fire authority takes the decision to raise council tax lightly.
“The fact remains we have limited options to balance our budget and protect local services in the face of inflation and other increasing costs – and council tax is our primary source of funding.
“Despite these pressures the fire authority remains totally committed to keeping our communities safe.”
The fire service has had to make cuts and savings totalling almost £2 million including in its utility bills.
Although the fire authority does not have to take final decisions on its budget for 2025-26 until February next year, councillors asked officials to look for more savings to help balance the budget at the earliest opportunity.
Current forecasts indicate that savings and cuts totalling more than £2.2 million are required.
Brighton and Hove City Council is due to set its budget, including the council tax, on Thursday 22 February.