independent

Wednesday 17 September 2014

Shortfall in house tax sees council grant chopped

HOUSEHOLD TAX COMPLIANCE RATE BELOW 65%

Published 28/11/2012 | 09:52

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Louth County Council has had its grant from central government cut by €300,000 this week due to the shortfall in payments for the Household Charge in Co Louth.

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New figures released by Louth County Council yesterday ( Tuesday) show that the county's compliance rate is at 61.24%, just outside the magic 65% rate that would have meant no cut at all to the government-allocated grant.

The numbers reveal that as of Monday, 25,215 households have paid the charge.

That includes the 1,020 whose charge has been waived under conditions set out earlier this year.

An estimated 41,176 households in total are liable for the charge in the county.

Despite the percentage of compliance slowly creeping up in Louth, the county remains the third last in the country in terms of compliance. THE BATTLE to get homeowners in Louth to pay the controversial household charge continued this week with the government slicing around €300,000 off the grant they will give to the local authority for the last quarter of this year.

New figures released by Louth County Council yesterday (Tuesday) show that the county's compliance rate is at 61.24%, just outside the magic 65% rate that would have meant no cut at all to the government-allocated grant.

The numbers reveal that as of Monday, 25,215 households have paid the charge.

That includes the 1,020 whose charge has been waived under conditions set out earlier this year.

An estimated 41,176 households in total are liable for the charge in the county.

Despite the percentage of compliance slowing creeping up in Louth, the county remains the third last in the country in terms of compliance rates.

A spokesperson for Louth County Council said: ' The local government grant is cut because we haven't reached the target level of household charge payment. If we had reached 65%, there would have been no cut at all.

'But, because we reached over 60%, the cut is less than what it could have been, and that's down to the effort that people have put in over the past few months to register and pay for the household charge.

'We are facing a cut of €320,000 in our allocation for the last quarter of this year and while the specific details of where the cash will be saved have not been worked out yet, it is safe to say that a bit will be shaved off as many projects as possible. 'For example, if the council was going to replace 500ms of footpath before the end of this year, we may only replace 400ms instead. It's along these lines that the cuts will come to minimise the impact on service delivery'.

On the issue of the household charge, the spokesperson said: 'We are seeing a continuing upward trend in the numbers paying the charge in County Louth. To facilitate this, we have set up a desk in the lobby of the County Council building in Dundalk and people can still pay through the council or Household Charge Bureau websites'.

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