Councillors refuse to increase Local Property Tax

€2.6 million gap in budget for 2019 still to be filled

The elected members of Mayo County Council refused a call to raise the Local Property Tax (LPT ) by 15 per cent at the September meeting of Mayo County Council.

Peter Duggan, Director of Finance for Mayo County Council delivered a presentation to the members calling for and increase of the tax by 15 per cent for 2019. Outlining his reasons for requesting the maximum permitted increase in the LPT he reported that the council anticipates projected income to increase by €5.2 million, to include an increase of €5.5 million directly attributable to increases in expenditure. The is an overall loss in net funding of €300,000.

Duggan added that the council also has additional expenditure demands of €2.3 million relating primarily to increases in payroll costs, capital provisions/matched funding requirements and local elections which are due to take place next year. The net demand for the budget amounts to an additional €2.6 million.

The projected break down of increased costs sees an extra €700,000 needed for payroll, €800,000 for capital provisions/matched funding, €600,000 for local elections and €200,000 for other expenditure increases.

Increasing the LPT by 15 per cent would see the 42.8 per cent of households in Mayo who have their property valued at less than €100,000, see an increase in their LPT of €13.50 per year, while the 38.6 per with property valued at between €100,000 and €150,000, would see a rise of €33.75 per year - Duggan told elected members.

Had the council members adopted the 15 per cent increase in the LPT the council would have raised an extra €1.56 million to bridge part of the budget arising in 2019.

However there was no appetite from members to increase the LPT by a single per cent, never mind the 15 per cent sought the council executive.

Chief Executive of Mayo County Council, Peter Hynes responded saying that the councillors 'were going to be in for a very long budget process over the next few months if they did not approve the increase'.

Independent Cllr Christy Hyland queried whether matching funding projects might be jepordised by the shortfall, to which the chief executive replied that it was a very real possibility that the council would have so say they would not have the money to do them.

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