Donegal councillors set to oppose proposed 5% commercial rate increase

Members of Dongal County Council are set to reject a proposed 5% increase in Commercial Rates when the authority meets this morning to consider it's Budget for next year.

In the Draft Revenue Budget being considered at today's meeting, Council Chief Executive Seamus Neely says the council will spend almost €149 million next year.

He says the budget has been framed with what he terms the "Donegal Context" in mind, relating all spending back to how it benefits the county, particularly in terms of job creation, economic growth and tourism development and promotion.

Mr Neely says Local Property Tax remains a very significant source of revenue for the council, with anticipated revenue from the LPT of over €25 million.

Over 22% of the council's revenue income next year will be from Commercial Rates. Mr Neeley says a Small Business Grant Scheme saw some businesses achieve a 5% rate reduction in rates last year, and he wants to repeat that scheme next year.

However, Mr Neeley is seeking a general 5% increase in rates, a move which many councillors say they will oppose.

However, Mr Neely says not to do so could impact adversely on the local economy.

Members have already made their views known at behind the scenes workshops, and today, will do so in public after the meeting convenes this morning at County House in Lifford.