Kerry County Council had to bridge €3.5 million gap in annual budget

Kerry County Council had to bridge a 3.5 million euro gap in its budget for 2016. Kerry County Council entrance2 The local authority has told its annual meeting to plan for the financial year ahead that revenue income collection remains challenging in the current climate. Head of Finance Angela McAllen told councillors that the focus on debt management will have to be maintained adding that discretionary funding is tight accounting for just ten per cent of expenditure. At over 41.3 million euro commercial rates are now more than ever a critical source of local income accounting for a third of the funds required for the local authority to deliver services. Last year councillors agreed to an annual rate of €79.25 which would apply to an eight year period of hamonisation in order to bring rates in different areas of the county to the same level. Ms McAllen said considerable progress has been made in address serious arrears adding that three per cent of customers pay half of the rates collected in the county. She said global revaluation of properties saw a reduction in income for the council of 425,000 euro. Discussions on the details of the almost 125 million euro budget are continuing.