Drogheda Independent

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Council set to lose 'millions' this year

Louth county council is facing losses 'running into millions', chief executive Joan Martin has warned at the June meeting of the council which was held in St Gerard's Hall.

And, she told councillors to start considering now raising the Local Property Tax.

'We have huge losses on rates and enormous losses on pay-parking.'

Ms Martin said normally she wouldn't start looking at budgets until the end of the year, but 'we are already talking about where we can save money'.

Indeed, she forecast losses over the next number of years, leading to 'pressure on budgets in the years ahead'.

The chief executive wanted to 'put on the table' an appeal to members to start looking at the property tax, on which a decision on the rate will be made at the September meeting.

'Last year you failed to give any increase, and we stood out in the country in that regard.

'Begin to think seriously how we balance next year's budget. Give me additional funding in order to bring a not unpalatable budget.'

Ms Martin continued her hands are 'very tied', and she appealed to councillors to start seriously thinking on the property tax, remarking (any increase) is 'cents per-week' per each individual house.

'It is very small money, but it is a serious decision.'

She added it was easy for councillors to make a nice decision (not to increase the rate) but it won't be nice when they see the impact (of no increase).

'I am keeping a tight rein on expenditure.'

Drogheda Independent