With councils across Northern Ireland meeting in recent days to strike rates for the next year, ABC Borough Council has emerged among the districts with the lowest rate hikes.
Residents will pay an average of an extra 47p a week – or £2.04 per month – with an increase of around £30.50 per month, or £366 a year, for the average sized business.
In contrast, Belfast City Council ratepayers will be faced with the largest rise of 7.99%.
Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council is the council which has agreed the lowest rates rise this year, at 4.9%.
Newry, Mourne and Down Council sits slightly above ABC, with a rates increase of 5.99%.
Commenting after the special ABC council meeting to strike the rate, DUP Group Leader Alderman Mark Baxter said: “Rate striking is one of the key elements of our role as a Councillor and we as a political party have taken it very seriously. We have worked throughout the year and indeed right to the wire with regards to the process.
“Unfortunately a number of decisions throughout the year by other parties have catapulted this year’s increase to a level that we haven’t seen in years. Scant regard was shown in adhering to financial advice from economic experts and as a party we make no apology for trying to protect the public purse and standing firm to protect the ratepayer.
“We warned of this only a few months ago and only for the dedicated work of our team and council officers the rise would have been much higher. That said to get to this level we have had to make drastic cuts to services and our council reserves have been decimated, meaning long awaited capital projects will now have to wait and our frontline services will also feel the pressure.”
He added: “I want facilities and services in this borough that are world class, fit for purpose but affordable and to that end every decision we take as a DUP party whether it be popular or unpopular, we have the rate payers right at our very heart.
“We look forward to seeing the Council continue on its journey in creating an area that is an economic driver in Northern Ireland but we can’t continue to expect the public to pick up the tab. Going forward we must think of new ways to raise revenue, streamline our services, and offload unnecessary assets that are financially crippling our borough.
“Reluctantly we must accept this rise but hope it will focus minds in the future and that we can’t continue to make decisions that have such far reaching implications, We trust others will follow our lead in making this place an attractive place to live and to do business.”
The full list of rates rises for councils across Northern Ireland are as follows:
Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council
- A rates increase of 4.9%.
Ards and North Down Borough Council
- A rates increase of 6.8%.
Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council
- A rates increase of 5.96%.
Belfast City Council
- A rates increase of 7.99%.
Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council
- A rates increase of 7.95%.
Derry City and Strabane District Council
- A rates increase of 7.97%.
Fermanagh and Omagh District Council
- A rates increase of 5.59%.
Lisburn and Castlereagh City Council
- A rates increase of 7.49%.
Mid and East Antrim Borough Council
- A rates increase of 5.43%.
Mid Ulster District Council
- A rates increase of 7.3%.
Newry, Mourne and Down District Council
- A rates increase of 5.99%.