New tax proposed to fund local services and facilities

The council wants to introduce a tax on households to help pay for local services. The fund would cover projects in the bracket Quality Of Life Improvements. This includes library services, better streetscapes, facilities at beaches and other recreational and cultural projects. The suggestion is made in a submission to Government Consultants on financing local authorities. Kerry County Council only controls 13 per cent of its income. With just two and a half thousand ratepayers in the county Director of Services for Finance John O Connor says there is a need to widen the base of local income. In his submission he points out that core services of the local authority are over extending and expectations increasing. In the absence of alternative funding he makes the case for an annual contribution scheme for households. This money would be put towards a variety of projects agreed by the elected representatives.Another controversial proposal is to get rid of the waiver system for bins and rent and inability to pay should be dealt with through the social welfare structure. Mr O Connor makes the point that if local authorities are to continue to be relevant to the future development of their areas, then a means of funding them adequately must be found.