No change in rates as Council faces toughest budget yet

Despite an impassioned plea for a 15 percent reduction in commercial rates by members of Carrick Chamber of Commerce, the Leitrim Observer has learned it is unlikely there will be any cut in rates in 2012 as Leitrim County Council prepares to face “its toughest budget yet”. Instead the general rate on valuation is expected to continue to be frozen at the 2008 level.

Despite an impassioned plea for a 15 percent reduction in commercial rates by members of Carrick Chamber of Commerce, the Leitrim Observer has learned it is unlikely there will be any cut in rates in 2012 as Leitrim County Council prepares to face “its toughest budget yet”. Instead the general rate on valuation is expected to continue to be frozen at the 2008 level.

With Minister Brendan Howlin calling time on funding for Local Improvement Schemes, it comes as no surprise that base road grants in the county have slumped by a massive 42% since 2008. According to figures seen by the Leitrim Observer the roads allocation for 2012 is expected to be down by 10 percent on figures for 2011 and Council sources are acknowledging that the Local Authority will not be able to maintain the level of roads service it has provided in previous years.

Although the Road Grant Allocation has not been finalised for 2012, it is expected the drop will be in the region of 10 percent - taking into account the removal of the Local Improvement Schemes. Council sources have also acknowledged that, unlike this year when a further €1.3m was made available for investment in Local Roads, the prospect of additional roads funding is “extremely unlikely” and a full review of the Roads Budget will have to take place when the grant allocation is confirmed.

See this week’s Leitrim Observer for the full story.