By Majella Loftus
Members of Mayo County Council this afternoon struck a rate increase of four per cent for the coming two years.
The new rate means that the General Municipal Allocation (GMA), which council officials had proposed cutting by half in the draft budget, will be restored to €2.1 million, the same as the allocation for 2019.
The changes to the draft budget were proposed by Fianna Fáil’s Damien Ryan who stated the four per cent increase will apply for 2020 and 2021, while the GMA will remain the same over the two years.
In relation to the Small Business Support Scheme, which provides grants for small to medium-sized businesses in the county, Cllr Ryan proposed increasing the grant from 8.5 per cent to 12 per cent for those with a commercial property with a rated valuation of less than €75. The rate of relief for those between €75 and €100 will increase from five per cent to 8.5 per cent.
Council officials had requested a three per cent rate increase but this new proposal, which was seconded by Independent Cllr Michael Kilcoyne, will see the rate increase by four per cent over two years with additional income of €344,000 generated per year in the budget.