Fermanagh and Omagh District Council (FODC) councillors are set to meet this evening (Thursday) to agree on the District's rates for 2023/24.

This is the first half of the rates bill, struck at local level. The other half is meant to be set by Stormont, however, in the absence of a functioning Executive, the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland will complete this task.

In Fermanagh and Omagh it is being proposed domestic rates will increase by 5.59 per cent (0.4033p in the pound) while non-domestic properties will increase by 7.45 per cent (24.418p in the pound).

For 2022/23 the rate for both domestic and non-domestic properties was set at 2.72 per cent.

The Council are proposing to raise £41,210,433 through district rates from April 1, 2023.

Excluding the Regional Rate which remains unknown, the proposed increase for a domestic property with a capital value of £100,000 in the district is £21 per annum.

For a non-domestic property with a Net Annual Value (NAV) of £10,000 it will be an additional £169.

In the Report on the Estimates Income and Expenditure for the Financial Year 2023-2024 which is on the Council website, it is stated the key factors influencing the Estimates for 2023/24 include the impact of inflation on costs generally; salary and wage cost pressures; delivery of a full range of quality services on a recovered basis; and providing for significant current and future capital investment across the district. The Revenue estimates for 2023/24 show an overall increase of 10.75 per cent in service expenditure bringing the total net expenditure to £43,306,789 (2022/23 £39,104,815).

The potential Capital Plan expenditure is £10.1m (2022/23 £15.9m) and the costs of financing this are £2.3m (2022/23 £2.8m) and this includes a contribution towards future capital expenditure.

Total expenditure to be funded by central government grant and district rates is £44,806,789 (2022/23 £41,374,815) which represents an overall increase of 8 per cent.

Based on 2022/23 the District Rates represents 45 per cent of the total rates bills paid by residents and businesses in the District. 55 per cent represents the Regional Rate set by central Government to contribute to the cost of services such as roads, health, education; emergency services; law and order and social services.

In the concluding remarks in the report, it says: "The formulation of the 2023/24 Estimates has been undertaken in a period of external financial instability which has resulted in a lesser degree of certainty experienced in the setting of previous year budgets."