Clare homeowners are to be hit with a 15% increase in property taxes for next year.
Councillors have voted in favour of the move, in a bid to boost the funding available for local services.
Negotiations on the Local Property Tax had taken place up until the eleventh hour, with the meeting delayed following a Fianna Fáil request for more time to allow for behind-closed-doors discussions.
When they emerged, it was clear that consensus wasn’t found because in the subsequent vote, party members were split with some voting against the proposed 15% increase.
But it was backed by two-thirds of Councillors present, including all Fine Gael members (Mary Howard, Paul Murphy, Joe Cooney, Pat Burke, Joe Garrihy and Gabriel Keating), Independents PJ Ryan and Michael Begley, Roisín Garvey of the Green Party, as well as Fianna Fáil’s Pat Hayes, Alan O’Callaghan, Tony O’Brien, Shane Talty, Joe Killeen, Bill Chambers and Cillian Murphy.
It was opposed by Mark Nestor, Clare Colleran Molloy, Pat Daly, Cathal Crowe and PJ Kelly, as well as Independents Ian Lynch, Gerry Flynn and Ann Norton.
The 16-8 result means that property taxes will jump 15% next year, the second such increase in four years.
The actual cost is dependent on the value of a home, but this increase amounts to less than €1 a week for all who own homes worth up to €200,000.
For the Council, it means an increase of €1.5m in funding next year, with CEO Pat Dowling pledging to increase General Municipal Allocation funds to allow the money be invested throughout Co. Clare.