Following a petition to Tynwald by Douglas resident, David Buttery, a three-member committee has been appointed to look at the current domestic rating system.
The committee has begun by writing to local authorities, asking if they believe the current system is fair.
Ramsey Commissioners have responded saying they do not think it is fair and that there should be ‘commonality of service between authorities and fund raising based on the markets values’.
While welcoming Mr Buttery’s aim in seeking to introduce a fairer rating system, the commissioners consider he is wrong in his contention that the ratepayers of Douglas subsidise householders living outside the capital. Instead, they believe that other residents of the island contribute greatly to Douglas’s revenue, not least by paying to park there, and by funding government-provided facilities through Income Tax.
They point out that the rest of the island also pays, as a rate charge, for facilities such as local swimming pools, which Douglas does not. Furthermore, Douglas residents can take greater advantage of the National Sports Centre (NSC), to which it does not contribute.