No increase in Local Property Tax for Kilkenny homeowners next year

Council executive warns that €1.8m will have to come from somewhere to address shortfall

Sam Matthews

Reporter:

Sam Matthews

Email:

sam.matthews@kilkennypeople.ie

Kilkenny County Council Local Property Tax

There will be no change to the Local Property Tax in Kilkenny next year

There will be no change to the amount of Local Property Tax (LPT) homeowners in Kilkenny will have to pay next year, following a majority decision by local councillors this evening.

Councillors opted not to vary the basic rate of tax, despite the council executive seeking a full 15% increase in order to balance expenditure demands with available income. At the beginning of today's meeting, the council's head of finance Martin Prendiville once again gave the members a presentation outlining the financial challenges ahead.

He informed them that a number of extra funding requirements have been identified. While there is additional expenditure arising of €2 million, only €250,000 is available in additional income (additional rates premises). The net deficit thus amounts to around €1.8 million.

With no change to the basic rate, the projected income from the LPT for Kilkenny is €7.5 million. Under the regulations, 80% of this will be retained locally (€5.9 million), bolstered by €3.4 million from the Equalisation Fund.

A 1% increase/decrease would have been valued at about €74,000 to the council. Increasing or decreasing by the full 15% maximum would have yielded/lost around €1.1 million.

In proposing and agreeing not to vary the basic rate, councillors said they were cognisant of the impact any increase would have on struggling households across the county. They decried the current model where the LPT rate decision must be made two months in advance of the local authority's statutory budget meeting, and the difficulties arising from this.

The next challenge will now come in November, when the council must attempt to address the €1.8 million shortfall in adopting a balanced budget for 2018.

For full story, see this week's Kilkenny People.