Mid Ulster District Council has held its rate rise to 1.46%.
The decision means a ratepayer in a property with an average capital value will pay £5.63 more each year to fund local services.
The Council agreed its new rate at a meeting this evening (13 February), where emphasis was placed on minimising the impact on ratepayers, while continuing to deliver quality services and planning for future investment in, and improvements to, services and facilities.
In setting its budgets for the year ahead, the Council increased costs of some £2M, many of which were beyond its control. However, close scrutiny of budgets and a drive for efficiency savings resulted in the Council being able to absorb many of the additional costs.
The effect of the Assembly not yet having agreed its budget was also highlighted, particularly the degree of uncertainty over the Rates Support Grant, a crucial element of the Council’s annual budget, intended to compensate less wealthy councils and which last year was worth some £2.9M to Mid Ulster.
The Council does not as yet know how much of the Rates Support Grant grant will be paid. Nor does it know what the regional rate will be, which is agreed by central government and represents the largest portion of the overall rates bill which people pay. Approximately 58% of Mid Ulster resident’s rates bills goes directly to help to fund services like health, education and roads, all the responsibility of central government and not the Council.