COVID leads to €10.6 million hole in Kerry County Council budget

Moira Murell

COVID-19 will result in a drop of €10.6 million in local income for Kerry County Council.

That’s according to a letter sent to councillors ahead of the 2021 Budget for the local authority, which asks them to maintain the Local Property Tax at this year’s level.

Chief Executive of Kerry County Council, Moira Murrell says that commercial rates and local income streams continue to be severely impacted by the pandemic with an estimated deficit of between €5 million and €6 million.

It is the first time in many years that Kerry County Council has faced a year-end deficit.

Ms Murrell says it is expected the difficulty in collecting local income streams will continue for 2021 given economic uncertainty due to COVID.

An additional €7.5 million will be needed to offset this and a further €3.1 million to mitigate against a drop in income from carparking, planning, rents, loans, waste disposal and elsewhere.

The council will also have €3 million in additional costs for critical service delivery.

The council says it will work with all rate payers and is committed to reducing costs.

Ms Murrell says she is asking councillors to maintain the Local Property Tax at 2020 levels when they vote.
She proposed that money from the tax be ringfenced for housing maintenance, the community support fund, road maintenance and town and village grants.