Tuesday 22 October 2019

Councillors vote against hike in Local Property Tax rate

Councillors have decided not to raise the rate of Local Property Tax. At Monday's meeting of Louth county council a proposal for a 0% increase was carried on a 21-7 vote.

Chief executive Joan Martin had sought a 15% hike, generating an extra €1.44m in revenue. There has been no increase in LPT funding since 2014.

A presentation of the 'budget challenges' facing the council was given by Bernadette Woods, Head of Finance. She explained LPT accounted for only 8% of council income but 'it is the only place we can vote for an increase and give ourselves more money'.

Ms Martin painted a bleak picture of the budgetary situation.

During, at times, some tense exchanges between the top table and members, the chief executive called for the meeting to be adjourned for 30 minutes.

Chairman Cllr Liam Reilly said he planned to adjourn anyway for his colleagues to consider three proposals before them, namely a 10% increase in LTP, O% increase or a postponement of a decision. The postponement was voted on first and defeated.

A 0% increase found favour with Cllrs, Marianne Butler, James Byrne, Joanna Byrne, Kevin Callan, Hugh Conlon, Tom Cunningham, Maria Doyle, Seán Kelly, Colm Markey, John McGahon, Pearse McGeough, Paddy McQuillan, Dolores Minogue, Erin McGreehan, Ruairí Ó Murchú, Declan Power, Tomás Sharkey, Jim Tenanty, Eileen Tully, Antóin Watters and Maeve Yore.

Against, were Cllrs Paul Bell, Emma Coffey, Michelle Hall, Conor Keelan, Liam Reilly, John Sheridan and Pio Smith.

The Argus