Local Property Tax hike to aid job development
KERRY’S Local Property Tax (LPT) is to increase by 5% next year with support for employment projects cited as the main reason for the increase. KCC management suggested the increase would help support an Agri-Tech Centre of Excellence in conjunction with IT Tralee and Dairymaster, while a second reason pertains to a Research and Development Innovation Hub in Killorglin - an application for which has been sought by IT Tralee and Fexco.
Councillors voted narrowly to pass the increase on to homeowners from 2018 by a margin of 14 for and 13 against with one councillor abstaining. The council had initially proposed a 10% increase but this was rejected. The 5% hike represents an increase of around 8 cent per week on a property in the first band (a house worth less than €100,000).
Currently, KCC said it has a budget deficit in excess of €4 million and the LPT rise is expected to reap around €700,000 annually. Chief Executive of KCC Moira Murrell said the Agri-Tech Centre of Excellence would help create between 300 and 500 jobs.