Councillors in Co Kerry have voted by a narrow majority to increase the Local Property Tax for 2018 by 5% above the annual baseline, while a vote is to take place in Kilkenny on whether to increase the rate.

The Finance (Local Property Tax) Act 2012 makes specific provision that elected members of a local authority may pass a formal resolution to vary the basic rate of the LPT for their administrative area by a percentage known as the local adjustment factor.

The councillors may set a local adjustment factor within the range of +/-15% of the basic rate. 

The proposal for the increase, the first such increase in Kerry since the charge was introduced, was put forward by Fianna Fáil councillors.

County Chief Executive Moira Murrell had sought a hike of 10% to bring in an extra €1.4 million.

The council will have a deficit of more than €4m next year.

Property tax now accounted for 11 per cent of the total council budget, she said.

14 councillors voted for the 5% increase, with 13 voting against and one abstention. Fine Gael councillors voted in favour of a 10% increase, which was defeated.

Meanwhile councillors in Kilkenny have voted not to increase the LPT at a meeting that finished this evening.