Fingal is latest to cut property tax by full 15pc
COUNCILLORS in north Dublin last night voted to reduce next year's Local Property Tax (LPT) by 15pc, ignoring a plea by the local authority management for a much more modest cut of 3pc.
Fingal County Council followed the three other Dublin local authorities in reducing the tax, with 31 of its 40 councillors voting in favour of the full 15pc cut allowed under the legislation.
The council's chief executive Paul Reid had cautioned against the full cut in one year, instead proposing a 3pc cut each year for five years.
He said this phased reduction would provide the council with an additional €12m in funds to allocate to important community and local projects.
In the debate last night Cllr Darragh Butler (FF) said Fianna Fail gave a commitment to the electorate in Fingal prior to the local election that they would seek a full reduction of 15pc, which will "in some small way alleviate the tax burden the Government has put on the citizens of Fingal".
Cllr Joe Newman said he disagreed with the LPT in its present format, adding that "people need a break".
Labour's Cllr Brian McDonagh proposed a reduction of 10pc for 2015, claiming the people who will benefit most from a 15pc reduction are those in the most expensive houses, who tend to be the higher earners.
People Before Profit councillor Barry Martin said the LPT is "a regressive tax as it takes most from those who have the least".
He said he welcomed a 15pc reduction, claiming that Irish people are being "financially crushed".
On Monday night Dublin City Council and South Dublin County Council voted to cut the tax by 15pc for 2015.
Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council also voted to cut the tax by 15pc.
The decision by councillors in Dublin City came despite a recommendation from the council's chief executive Owen Keegan that it should only be reduced by 5pc.
He warned that funding for homeless services could be threatened by a larger reduction.
And as councillors around the country vote to lower the Local Property Tax (LPT), Revenue has delayed updating the dedicated website for a whole year.
Revenue is waiting for the results of meetings before updating their website that explains to homeowners how much they pay and how they can do it.
Asked about the delay, a Revenue spokeswoman said that the "finer details" were still being worked out.
"The finer details of 2015 LPT will be settled once the local authorities have advised Revenue of their intentions regarding the LPT rate and we'll then be in a position to engage in a comprehensive communications campaign," she said.