Fingal council approves €237m budget and increases rates by 2%

Separately, Dún Laoghaire Rathdown County Council approves budget worth €183m

A view of the chamber of Fingal County Council in Swords.

A view of the chamber of Fingal County Council in Swords.

 

Fingal County Council members have agreed to raise commercial rates by two per cent for the second year in a row, as part of an approved €237 million budget.

By 33 votes to three they voted to approve the 2019 budget at a council meeting on Tuesday.

The budget includes a €3 million increase in spending on housing, an extra €1 million for roads and transport, and an additional €2.5 million for local amenities.

Councillors at a previous meeting had voted not to alter the rate of Local Property Tax (LPT) from the previous budget. Each September local authorities vote on varying the LPT rate paid by homeowners, and can increase or decrease the rate by 15 per cent either side of a baseline.

For the last two years Fingal County Council has voted to set the LPT rate at 10 per cent below the baseline.

Councillors voted to increase commercial rates on businesses by two per cent, a decision which raised an extra €2.5 million.

The funding will be spent on street cleaning, parks maintenance, and investment in tourism and community events.

Prior to the council increasing rates last year, they had remained unchanged since 2012, when they were cut to help businesses during the recession.

Commenting on the approved budget, council chief executive Paul Reid said increased spending would help meet the “significant challenge” of demands on services. Fingal County Council has the fastest growing local authority population.

Separately, Dún Laoghaire Rathdown County Council approved an annual budget for next year worth €183 million, up from €176 million. Councillors did not alter commercial rates for the coming year.

In a statement afterwards, the council said the budget marked “the increased buoyancy and upturn in the market”.

An additional €830,000 has been made available for the provision of homeless services. The number of inspections carried out in the private rented sector will increase by 150 per cent with a corresponding uplift in budget of €245,000.

It said the “uplift in development activity” across the county had “impacted positively” on the budget, with an increase in income of €2.4 million from commercial rates, leading to “more efficient service provision and a number of new initiatives”.

These include the roll out of electric charging points, village clean ups across the county and development of an anti-littering amnesty policy. The additional expenditure will allow for enhanced service levels across a range of departments and services.