Kerry County Council has decided not to pass on the cost of the local property tax to its tenants. It had been previously proposed that the cost of the tax would be passed onto council tenants through an increase in rents. The matter has been discussed as Kerry County Council debates its draft budget for 2014. County Manager Tom Curran said rather than passing on the cost of the property tax this year to tenants he would be using council reserves to cover the 200,000 euro cost. Mr Curran also announced there would be no increase in commercial rates for the fifth year in a row. He told the meeting that rates are not the cause of businesses closing. Over half of ratepayers are charged less than 2,000 euro. We are talking about a small amount of money, he said, which does have an affect on business but not as much as other costs. He said they want to see businesses remain open but said the authority is also a business which provides services. He said some businesses which are not paying can well afford to. Mr Curran called for the valuation of commercial properties to be progressed as there are some significant businesses in the county currently not paying rates. The council will have 18 million euro less to spend this year but it says services will not be affected. However Tom Curran said he was disappointed with a drop in the local government fund for Kerry. The meeting continues.