Rates frozen for second year

Thursday, 9 February 2017

Rates frozen for second year thumbnailCllr John Deighan.

FOR the second consecutive year rates in the Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council area are to be frozen.
The move will no doubt be welcomed by local homeowners amid fresh warnings that inflation is set to spike in 2017.
A zero rates increase for the new financial year has been made possible after senior council officers successfully identified a number of operational efficiencies, with these broadly supported by all locally elected representatives at a special meeting on Thursday.
The decision to apply a rates freeze from April 1 this year comes at a time when Council is facing additional cost pressures, despite making savings to date of 2.1m in staff overheads through its voluntary severance scheme.
On the whole the recommendation to retain the status quo on rates received cross-party support at a period when the majority of local authorities across Northern Ireland are implementing rises of between two and three per cent.
Frustration was expressed by the Ulster Unionists, however, with the party warning some businesses operating in Coleraine face the threat of closure because a reduction in their rates bill was not possible this time.
At a special meeting of councillors last Thursday evening, Council's Chief Executive said that "the general census indicated a zero per cent increase in the District Rates for 2017/2018 could be considered acceptable and that final estimates allow this.


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