Ratepayers in Mid Ulster will see a rise of 1.94% in their rates bills, after Mid Ulster District Council struck its rate last night (11 February).
The decision means an average ratepayer will pay around £1 more each month to fund local services.
Speaking after the meeting to agree the rate, Councillor Linda Dillon, Chair of the Council, said setting a realistic budget, which minimised the impact on local people, had been challenging:
“The financial pressures which the public sector faces as a whole have been well-documented and local government is no different.
“Budgets have been closely scrutinised and we have made efficiency savings, however, substantial increases in costs, such as waste disposal and the loss of rebate on national insurance, amounted to some £2.8M of additional monies which we had to find simply to stand still,” she said.
“And we don’t wish to stand still. We want to see our district grow and develop and so, this year we sought additional funding in several areas to allow us to continue to provide capital grants for sports clubs, to address a gap in arts-related funding and to ensure that we are resourced to support our regional minority language policies”.
Councillor Dillon emphasised that the money paid through rates funds both central and local services.
“There is a common misperception that the rates our residents and businesses pay all come to council, whereas in reality for Mid Ulster ratepayers, approximately 55% goes to the Assembly and the remaining 45% to the council to fund the services and facilities which are provided locally”.
For more information on rates visit www.midulstercouncil.org/rates.