Some residents are paying five times as much council tax relative to their salary compared to residents in other local authorities, the TaxPayers’ Alliance (TPA) said.
Locals in West Devon, the area with the highest burden, pay 10.85 per cent of their median gross pay in council tax.
This is compared to just 2.16 percent in Wandsworth, south London, where the strain is lowest.
John O’Connell, chief executive of the TaxPayers’ Alliance, said: “Taxpayers are struggling with the unsustainable burden of council tax.”
“But far from falling on those with the broadest shoulders, it appears that the most hard-pressed households are bearing the brunt of rising rates.”
“The least local authorities can do is freeze council tax next year to give residents much-needed breathing space.”
The TPA warned council tax has more than doubled in relation to median earnings since its introduction in 1993.
The 20 council areas with the lowest average earnings in the UK all charged over eight per cent of the median salary in council tax.
Councils should freeze the tax next year to help bring down the duty and ease the cost of living crisis, the TPA said.
Meanwhile, people are suffering antisocial behaviour (ASB) because councils are not thinking “comprehensively” about how they can tackle it, the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman (LGSCO) warned.
Local councils across England have a broad range of tools available to them to tackle ASB, but they are either not using them or do not fully understand the powers they have.
Paul Najsarek, of the LGSCO, said: “Antisocial behaviour can blight our communities and have a significant impact on people’s mental health and wellbeing. But all too often in our investigations, we find councils not thinking hard enough about how they can step in to help.”
“Councils in partnership with other agencies, when using their powers to the full, can have a profound effect on people’s quality of life – both in terms of taking action against perpetrators and providing support to victims.”
“I urge leaders to read this report and reflect on their services to ensure they fully understand the range of powers at their disposal and provide the best possible support to the people they serve.”