We all rely on essential services provided by the local council every single day.
Across Scotland, local authorities manage our schools. They oversee planning applications. They fix potholes. They make sure our bins are collected. They provide local businesses with support.
They are responsible for the frontline delivery of many of the bold promises made by the SNP Government.
But councils can’t deliver vital services to the high standards we expect if they don’t receive the necessary funding.
Without the right resources, local authorities are forced to make impossible decisions about what to cut.
This is because councils receive the vast majority of their funding - over 80 per cent - from the SNP Government in Edinburgh. The rest is raised through local taxation.
In the annual Scottish Budget, which is now around £60 billion, the SNP set the amount that councils will receive.
For years now, local authorities have been short-changed.
The Scottish Borders Council have not received anywhere near the money they need to keep delivering the services that we all rely on.
At the same time as they have been expected to cut costs, the SNP Government is demanding they deliver more. For instance, promises to increase childcare support will be met by councils, yet budgets haven’t increased by enough to meet that pledge.
So, in the end, the Borders council is forced to choose which services to reduce or how much to increase council tax.
It is an entirely avoidable situation. The SNP have the money to give councils what they need, but they choose to spend it on other things instead.
This year looks set to continue this worrying trend. Except, this year, the SNP seem content to put more of the burden onto hardworking families.
The SNP have launched a consultation to seek views on raising council tax by between 7.5 and 22.5 per cent for Band E to Band H properties.
If those proposals go ahead, around 16,000 Borders households would see their council tax increased by at least £133. Some will face tax hikes of £747.
During my summer surgery tour, local people said they simply couldn't afford any higher bills.
Borders residents shouldn't pay the price because the SNP don't want to fund local councils properly.
The SNP must deliver the necessary funding for councils, instead of leaving local authorities to deliver more with less.