Kerry County Councillors vote to increase Local Property Tax base rate by 7.5% next year

Kerry County Councillors have voted to increase the base rate for the local property tax by 7.5% next year.

That’s a reduction when compared to last year’s rate, which increased the base rate by 10%.

Under legislation, councillors have the power annually to vary the base LPT rate for the following year by +/-15% or leave the rate unchanged.

A special meeting of Kerry County Council took place at John Mitchels GAA Complex this morning to decide on the rate.

Kerry County Council Chief Executive Moira Murrell asked councillors to retain last year’s rate, which was an increase of 10% of the base rate; she says she’s mindful not to increase the rate given what people have experienced this year.

She says COVID-19 will result in a drop of €10.6 million in local income for Kerry County Council; in addition the council will also have increased expenditure requirements next year which are estimated at €3 million.

Ms Murell says the retention would have a direct impact on housing services and maintenance, roads maintenance and on the Community Support Fund. It will also impact the council’s approach to beaches, library funding, public convenience as well as general upkeep and maintenance.

The council CEO told the meeting that the less money the council has, the less services and employment it’ll be able to provide.

Fianna Fáil councillor Michael O’Shea proposed an increase of 7.5%, which he says is a decrease from last year, while Sinn Féin Cllr Deirdre Ferris proposed the council revert to the base rate.

Independent councillor Sam Locke proposed the base rate be increased by 5%, but later withdrew this proposal as it appeared to be causing confusion as to whether it was an amendment or proposal and what order it should take in the vote.

Twenty councillors voted in favour of the 7.5% increase, while 13 voted against it.

Vote results on the proposal to increase the base rate by 7.5% for 2021:

Barry Tom, SF: Against

Beasley Robert, SF: Against

Cahill Michael, FF: Against

Connor-Scarteen Patrick, FG: For

Cronin Brendan, Ind: For

Farrelly Charlie, Ind: Against

Ferris Deirdre, SF: Against

Finucane Jim, FG: For

Fitzgerald Breandan, FF: For

Fitzgerald Fionnan, FF: Against

Fitzgerald Seamus Cosai, FG: For

Flynn John Francis, FF: For

Foley Cathal, SF: Against

Foley Michael, FG: For

Gleeson Michael, KIA: For

Grady Donal, Ind: For

Healy-Rae Jackie, Ind: Against

Healy-Rae Johnny, Ind: Against

Healy-Rae Maura, Ind: Against

Kelleher Niall, FF: For

Kennelly Mike, FG: For

Locke Sam, Ind: Against

McCarthy Dan, Ind: Against

Moloney Jimmy, FF: For

Moloney Marie, Lab: For

Moriarty Norma, FF: For

O’Brien Terry, Lab: For

O’Callaghan Niall, Ind: Against

O’Connell Bobby, FG: For

O’Shea Michael, FF: For

Sheehy Mikey, FF: For

Thornton Aoife, FG: For

Wall Johnnie, FF: For