herald

Wednesday 13 December 2017

Property tax system hits Dublin 'unfairly', claims Fine Gael TD

A FINE Gael politician has hit out at the government's new property tax plans which will see Dublin homeowners effectively subsidise rural services.

Dublin South TD Olivia Mitchell (inset) described the plan as "unfair" and said Dublin residents are being "penalised" as a result of living in areas with higher property prices.

There has a mixed response to Environment Minister Alan Kelly's proposals, which are designed to ensure less wealthy local authorities can still operate effectively.

As reported by the Herald yesterday, eight local authorities, including all four in Dublin, are in line for a 15pc reduction in their property tax rate.

But millions of euro will also be taken from property tax proceeds in the capital and used as 'top-ups' for local authorities such as Leitrim, Longford and Tipperary.

A number of Dublin politicians last night branded the system unjust.

Ms Mitchell told the Herald: "The local property tax is supposed to be for local services. It does not make sense that we pay for 100pc of our services and yet people down the country only pay a fraction for theirs. It is simply unfair."

Dublin City Council has already voted to impose a 15pc reduction, which must be communicated to the Revenue Commisioners at the end of the month.

But Independent councillor Nial Ring said Dublin residents are fed up "paying for the rest of the country."

He added: "It's been the same with tourism, water and now property. Dubliners feel duped here. We are quite entitled to be angry because we are angry paying for other people's services."

Minister Kelly said the system will achieve "balance" and "fairness".

noconnor@herald.ie

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