City councillors vote to continue 15pc property tax cut next year
Dublin city councillors have voted to reduce property tax by 15pc again, against the recommendation of chief executive Owen Keegan.
Councillors voted last year to cut the 2015 rate of property tax for householders by the maximum 15pc.
Mr Keegan had recommended that they do not apply the same cut for next year, which would have resulted in an increased bill for city home-owners of €77.5m.
However, following heated debate at a special council meeting last night, an overwhelming majority of councillors (47) voted in favour of a motion to see the tax reduced again.
Twelve voted against, and there was one abstention, by Workers Party councillor Eilis Ryan.
Labour Party members had proposed that the basic rate of local property tax should be varied downward by 7.5pc for next year.
However, members of Fine Gael, Fianna Fail, Sinn Fein and People Before Profit were included in those backing the 15pc reduction for next year.
The decision means homeowners in the city will pay the same rates of property tax in 2016 as applied this year.
Fianna Fail councillor Jim O’Callaghan said that the property tax did not take into account the ability of the person to pay.
“It is an anti-Dublin tax. People in Dublin, through no fault of their own, find themselves in a situation where property values are spiralling in recent times,” he said.
“If they are school teachers or civil servants, they earn the same as school teachers and civil servants who live in other parts of the country.
“Yet they find themselves, because they live in Dublin, paying property tax which is much more.”
However, Green Party councillor Ciaran Cuffe said on
behalf of his group that they agreed with Mr Keegan.
“Last year, we reduced the local property tax by 15pc,” he said.
“Halfway through the year, we ran out of money to tackle housing and homelessness issues.”
Mr Cuffe said, however, that the issue was not only about housing.
“We can’t spend 51 out of 52 weeks a year adding to a list of things we want to see happen in the areas that we represent, and then spend one week of the year saying let’s reduce taxes,” he said.