ITV News video report by Allegra Stratton
After six years of cuts to funding, 80% of councils say they have little or no confidence in their financial sustainability, figures from the Local Government Information Unit reveal.
Cash-strapped councils are concerned they may soon need to choose which services to stop providing as a result.
The new research, shown to ITV News at Ten, also found an overwhelming majority of councils - more than nine in 10 - felt they should increase council tax and start charging for services.
Additionally, one in 10 say they are worried they won't be able to meet their statutory obligations by the end of this year.
The councils include those which are cash-strapped and those which are wealthy because they have more affluent residents.
Areas like Liverpool are affected particularly badly because they receive less revenue than other, wealthier councils across the country.
Liverpool's mayor Joe Anderson told ITV News that the council is struggling to pay for basic things like maintaining parks and a clean city centre and that the public don't understand that council tax doesn't cover all services.