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Local authorities rule out rate increases

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Local authorities rule out rate increases for 2012 despite squeezed budgets


Trevor Quinn

The recently published Mayo County Council Draft Annual Budget has proposed that the County rate on commercial and industrial property will remain unchanged. It was also revealed that total expenditure for 2012 will fall by 1.3 per cent.
In his second budget as County Manager, Peter Hynes revealed that the county Rate on Valuation for commercial and industrial property will stay at €68.76, the same rate that has been applied since 2010.
Expenditure for 2012 is estimated to be €130,252,752, a reduction of 1.3 per cent on 2011. According to Mr Hynes, the reduction has been achieved “without any significant diminution to date in the quality or the extensive range of services delivered.”

Castlebar
Castlebar Town Manager Seamus Granahan said that due to the difficulties local businesses are experiencing, Castlebar Town Council would not propose to increase local charges during 2012. He said the council would instead seek to make savings from operational efficiencies.
Mr Granahan also highlighted advances with regard to three key capital projects in Castlebar during 2011 – the town centre regeneration project, the riverwalk project and the link road project.
He said that due to a 8.98 per cent decrease in local government funding, he was expecting additional cuts in all funding and grants. The gross expenditure for Castlebar Town Council is estimated to be €7,155,228 for 2012.

Westport

In his 2012 draft annual budget, Westport Town Council manager Mr Joe Beirne admitted that a funding reduction of €59, 231, or 8.8 per cent, since 2011 will pose challenges. However, he said it was still imperative for the Town Council to maintain services at a reasonable level. The budget for Westport provides for a gross expenditure of €5,231,632.
The rate proposed for commercial and industrial property remains at €63.55, with no change from 2011.

Ballina
Ballina Town Council manager Paddy Mahon has said that the 2012 budget provides for gross revenue expenditure, after provision for bad debts of €5,870,337. He also added that  a grant of €1,273,025 will be received by the council from the Local Government Fund for 2012. This represents a decrease of 8.5 per cent, or €118,563, on the amount paid to the council in 2011.
Mr Mahon has also proposed that the rate on commercial and industrial property should remain the same. “The budget process has been difficult this year,” he said, “and I have tried to find efficiencies in our budget without having to cut our front line services or go to businesses for an unacceptable increase in rates.”

Calculating ARV
Annual Rate on Valuation (ARV) is the figure used to calculate the annual rates payable by the occupier of a rateable property taking the valuation of the premises into account. It is fixed by the elected members of the County Council and Town Councils at the annual budget meeting each year. The 2011 [and 2012] ARV for Mayo County Council’s area is €68.76. Therefore, if your property is valued at €15, then €15 x 68.76 = €1031.40 = Rates for 2011 [and 2012] *Source: www.mayococo.ie