POLICE chiefs say the slice of cash they receive from council taxpayers will have to rise by three per cent if they are to meet a near-£140 million spending target.

Members of the North Yorkshire Police Authority will approve the 2010/11 police budget next month.

The force plans to spend almost £140 million in the next financial year, but £60.8 million of this will depend on how much it receives from its council tax precept.

The remaining £78.5 million has been promised to North Yorkshire Police, by the Government, in the form of a annual grant.

To raise the £60.8 million, a three per cent increase in council tax is needed, which means owners of Band D properties would have to pay £205.15 a year towards policing - an increase of £5.98.

Each one per cent drop in the precept would mean the force having to find about an extra £600,000 from elsewhere.

The police authority is asking for the public’s views on the plans.

Chairwoman Jane Kenyon said if the rise in council tax was kept to a minimum, it would mean a long-term financial burden for police.

She said: "The police authority is very conscious that the current national financial position is putting many local people in very difficult personal circumstances and we would wish to minimise any further increases in council tax if we can possibly help it.

"Over the coming years, all public services will face tightening budgets and it is important that the police play its part in keeping the council tax increase to an absolute minimum.

"We are continually seeking to improve our services for residents and visitors alike but we do face a dilemma this year; either to maximise the income, through rises in council tax in the next financial year to ‘buffer’ us against grant reductions in later years, or to keep the council tax levels down as much as possible next year, thereby possibly making our longer-term financial situation worse."

The police authority is expected to make a decision on its council tax requirements in a meeting at 10.30am, in the Novotel, in York, on Friday, February 5.

Ms Kenyon said: "We would like to hear the views of as many people as possible before then."

To comment on the plans, visit nypa.gov.uk/budget1011.