Ramsey Town Commissioners have set the rate for the 2019-20 financial year at 399p, a 9.6 per cent rise over the previous year.
The new rate reflects the Commission’s commitment to continue to invest in Ramsey while meeting increased costs imposed by central government.
Increased National Insurance contributions, following the introduction of the new single-tier Manx State Pension, rising gate fee charges at the Energy from Waste Plant and the recently agreed pay award contribute to more than half of the rate increase.
Improving amenities and assets – including upgrades to the north promenade, decorative lighting in Parliament Street and resurfacing the water play feature in Mooragh Park - account for the remainder of the increase.
Before taking into account the impact of expenditure, the Commission’s rate income was projected to show an increase of just 0.3 per cent against inflation of 2.5 per cent.
The new rate will represent an increase of £xx.xx per week for an average three- bedroomed property with a rateable value of £xxx.
Lead Member for Finance and General Purposes, Juan McGuinness, said: ‘We are in the process of rebalancing our cash flow following a number of years of absorbing rate rises through reserves and recognise the impact this increase will have on our ratepayers.
‘This was a tough decision for the Commission, only reached after long budget meetings where difficult choices had to be made to postpone projects and defer expenditure in order to minimise the level of increase.’
Ramsey Town Commissioners’ chairman Andy Cowie, added: ‘At a time when we are faced with escalating costs, many of which are outside our control, combined with additional demands on our service provision, it is crucial that for the future prosperity of our town we have a robust financial model in place.
‘After a long period of absorbing cost increases from our reserves we were hoping to implement gradual rises to get us back on a sustainable footing. Regrettably we have been unable to achieve this in the face of mounting operational costs.
‘As well as the Commission’s day-to-day business, such as public lighting, waste management and street cleaning, we will continue to support the events and improvements that make Ramsey the great town it is: such as our fireworks display and seasonal events, delivering efficiencies in our equipment and buildings - including our highly-rated library - and investing in staff training.
‘Before determining this rate, the Commissioners laboured long and hard over the budget process to ensure that every expense and project considered delivered value for the ratepayer.
‘Simply put, Ramsey Town Commissioners were determined not to let rising fees and charges compromise investing in the town and securing long-term financial stability and brighter prospects for Ramsey.’