Council sets rates for 2016/2017

Published: 12th February 2016

At a Special Meeting on Thursday 11 February 2016, Fermanagh and Omagh District Council agreed to set the rates for the year ahead at 20.1200 pence in the pound for the non-domestic rate and at 0.3290 pence in the pound for the domestic rate. This represents an increase of 1.6% in both the domestic and non-domestic rate.

Over the past number of months Councillors and Officers have given careful consideration to the Estimates and have prepared a budget which will enable it to fulfill its statutory functions, deliver the quality services which the citizens of the district expect and deserve, and take forward projects and invest in the development and growth of the district. Councillors and Officers are keenly aware of the very challenging economic environment which continues to affect ratepayers and careful scrutiny  was undertaken on every aspect of expenditure of the Council,

The Estimates include gross expenditure of £42.4m and net operating expenditure of £34.0m across a range of services including  Leisure and Recreation, Environment, Planning and Development Services, off-street car parking  and a range of corporate, democratic and support services. At the 1st April 2015, the Planning & Off Street parking functions transferred across to the council, however projected income levels for 2016-17 are lower than what was predicted in the Transferred Functions Grant.

The Estimates also include a capital plan for 2016-2017 of  £10.18m, which includes investment of £8.92m for the development of the area and £1.26m for investment in vehicles, plant, equipment and systems.

Taking account of transfers to /from Council reserves, the financing of past and proposed capital expenditure and central government grant the amount to be raised from the rate payers in the area is £30,385,379.

Commenting on the setting of the rates Council Chairman, Councillor Thomas O’Reilly, acknowledged the difficult task presented in developing the estimated budget for delivering services and making provision for the prudent ongoing development of the district.

“The Council has a very broad and challenging portfolio of functions and services, and recognises the financial burden of the rates bill, particularly in the current difficult economic climate. I want to assure ratepayers that we manage Council finances in a careful and considered manner. Like all local authorities, Fermanagh and Omagh District Council is subject to stringent levels of financial scrutiny through rigorous internal audit systems, as well as independent examination by the Local Government Auditor”.

Councillor O’Reilly outlined some of the major capital projects that the Council will progress in the coming year. The Heritage Gateway Project at Enniskillen Castle, incorporating the new Fermanagh County Museum and Visitor Information Centre will be completed in the early summer, and a significant refurbishment of the Ardhowen Theatre is planned.  Subject to confirmation of funding, the development of the Gortin Glen as a recreation and tourist amenity will continue with further investment in Gortrush depot planned for 2016-17. Investment will also be made in play areas, outdoor sports and recreation facilities and to Council leisure centres.

He highlighted that the Council works in partnership with other agencies where appropriate and “is prudent when making investments, taking advantage of every possible funding opportunity for capital projects, to help offset expenditure and to deliver improved facilities for the local community.”

Less than half of the total rates paid comes to the Council to fund its functions, while the remainder is goes to central government to fund Education, Health, Housing, Roads and Water and Sewerage services etc.

The Northern Ireland Executive set aside up to £30m to phase in the impact of rate convergence over a four year period ending in 2018-19. Discount this year is 60% and Fermanagh ratepayers will avail of this relief which will be applied as a discount to the rates bills in 2016-17.

The only element of Rates that the Council is responsible for is the District Rate Element. Taking account of all other factors that impact on the rates bill, the total rates bill for the Domestic and Non-Domestic ratepayer in Fermanagh and Omagh District Council is summarised in the tables below:-

DOMESTIC Fermanagh Omagh
Impact on ratepayer before transitional relief 1.66% 1.66%
Impact on ratepayer after transitional relief 3.09% 1.66%
Impact on rates bill with Capital Value of £125,000 £27 £15

 

BUSINESS Fermanagh Omagh
Impact on ratepayer before transitional relief 1.66% 1.66%
Impact on ratepayer after transitional relief 2.41% 1.66%
Impact on rates bill with NAV of £20,000 £242 £172

 

A number of other rates reliefs are available and details of these are available on the website: http://www.nidirect.gov.uk/index/information-and-services/property-and-housing/rates.htm.

 

ENDS

For further information please contact: Elizabeth Harkin, tel: 02300 303 1777 or email: elizabeth.harkin@fermanaghomagh.com

 

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