Over 2,000 town hall workers are salaried at at least £100,000 a year
The number of council employees in England and Wales with six-figure pay and perks packages was higher in 2015-16 than the previous year, said the TaxPayers' Alliance.
Its annual survey comes in the month that English council tax payers saw their bills rise by an average of 4 per cent while at the same time many authorities say budget squeezes are forcing them to make service cut-backs.
The council tax increases which include extra charges to fund adult social care have pushed up average Band D bills by about £61 to £1,591 this year compared to 2016-17.
The TaxPayers' Alliance Town Hall Rich List identified at least 2,314 council employees in England and Wales with total remuneration deals of £100,000 a year or more in 2015-16.
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The number of people was up 89 from the previous year, and the Alliance said the total was probably an understatement because of differences in how councils present their data.
There are talented people in the public sector who are trying to deliver more for less
A total of 539 officials – 53 more than in 2014-15 – were on more than £150,000, according to its analysis.
Alliance chief executive John O'Connell said: "The average council tax bill has gone up by more than £900 over the last 20 years and spending has gone through the roof.
"Disappointingly, many local authorities are now responding to financial reality through further tax rises and reducing services rather than scaling back top pay.
"Despite many in the public sector facing a much-needed pay freeze to help bring the public finances under control, many town hall bosses are continuing to pocket huge remuneration packages, with the number of people on six-figure deals actually going up since last year.
"There are talented people in the public sector who are trying to deliver more for less but the sheer scale of these packages raise serious questions about efficiency and priorities."
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Council tax increases included extra charges to fund adult social care
Councillor Claire Kober, chairwoman of the Local Government Association's Resources Board, responded: "Councils are large, complex organisations with sizeable budgets and responsibility for delivering more than 700 services, including caring for the elderly and vulnerable, and protecting children.
"It is important that the right people with the right skills and experience are retained to deliver this work.
"Local government is committed to providing value for money to taxpayers and, nationally, incoming chief executives are being paid lower salaries than their predecessors and average chief executive salaries continue to decline year-on-year.
"The pay of senior council staff is set by politically proportionate committees of elected councillors and is open to a high level of scrutiny and democratic accountability as a result."
In total, the report found 68 councils had at least 10 staff members on £100,000 or more in 2015-16.
The average Band D bill has risen by about £61 to £1,591 this year
It said inner London authority Southwark Council had the most employees with six-figure deals – 44 people, an increase on 25 from the previous year.
Southwark Councillor and Cabinet member for finance Fiona Colley countered that it was hard to compare her council's salaries with others', due to differences in what was included in figures, but that in March 2016 Southwark had only 19 staff members whose jobs were in pay bands of over £100,000.
She added: "We agree with the sentiments of the LGA: Southwark Council is one of the largest local authorities in the country, and in London, it is a complex organisation delivering hundreds of vital services, including child protection and the care of vulnerable people. It is important that we employ people of extremely high calibre for this kind of role."
Southwark Council had the most employees with six-figure deals, research found
The north-east had the person who received the most in 2015-16, as well as others receiving significant sums during the year, according to the TaxPayers' Alliance.
Former Sunderland City Council chief executive Dave Smith, who resigned in August 2015 giving no public reason but after a poor assessment of local children's services, picked up £625,570, including a pay-off worth £185,470 and pension contributions of £331,414.
A spokesman for the authority, which this month raised council tax by 4.99 per cent, said: "These figures reflect the terms and conditions for eight senior employees no longer employed by the council, including former chief executive Dr Dave Smith.
"They include payments to the Pension Fund to reflect payments in the future."
The council's current chief executive, Irene Lucas, has a current annual salary of £179,000.
A spokesman for the Department for Communities and Local Government said: "Whilst it's a matter for individual local authorities, ministers have been clear that they expect them to show restraint from excessive pay rises, especially when it comes to senior staff.
"We've taken steps to make sure councils are more transparent on how they set pay and can be held accountable by local residents."