In a sign that the economy is slowly recovering, Laois County Council have seen their first budget increase in over five years.
The council have proposed a budget of just over €55million for 2015, over €1million more than last year’s budget of almost €54million.
But this figure is still €20 million down on the council’s budget during the Celtic Tiger years.
“The draft budget provides for revenue spending of €55,100,000 and builds on the early signs of economic growth,” acting chief executive and head of finance, Gerry Murphy noted in his draft budget summary.
As a result of the abolition of the Town Councils, the business rates in Mountmellick and Portlaoise are set to be reducedto €64.63 in both towns.
The funding of local government will change next year as a result of the introduction of the local property tax. The council will receive the same amount in 2015 from the combined local property tax and general purpose grant allocation as it received in 2014 from the general purpose grant also.
The council will agree on the budget, without a replacement for the County Manager who left in September.