herald

Sunday 19 August 2018

Two Dublin councils vote to cut property tax by 15pc

DUBLIN City Council has voted to reduce the level of the residential Local Property Tax (LPT) by 15pc from November this year.

The decision means that homeowners will pay less tax for their properties, but the council will generate €12.3m less in revenue to spend on services for 2015.

A heated meeting of the council was told that each 1pc reduction in the tax would mean €826,000 less in revenue.

The amount of LPT sent to the Government central fund would remain at €16.5m regardless of a reduction in the rate, meaning yesterday's reduction hit only council coffers.

Dublin City Council was one of 10 local authorities identified as being financially capable of slashing property tax bills because of the number of people living within the authority area.

A joint motion put before the council yesterday to make the 15pc cut was supported by Fine Gael, Sinn Fein, Fianna Fail and some left-wing councillors. It passed by 46 votes to 12.

The proposal was opposed by Labour Party councillors including Dermot Lacey, who warned that the council had to protect its revenue.

He said that it was the first year of the property tax and it was "important that we get it right".

His party colleague Andrew Montague pointed out that it was the owners of the most expensive houses that would benefit most from the cut.

Labour had proposed a 7.5pc cut instead.

Sinn Fein councillor Daithi Doolan said that if his party comes into power, the tax would be scrapped entirely.

People Before Profit Alliance councillor Brid Smith called the LPT "the most unpopular tax ever" supporting the motion.

City Council chief executive Owen Keegan had recommended a 5pc cut.

Meanwhile, South Dublin County Council also voted yesterday to reduce the LPT in its district by 15pc.

The proposal won near-unanimous support, with 36 councillors voting for the reduction and just one against.

Kildare County Council also voted for a 7.5pc reduction.

The reductions will come into place by November this year, while Fingal County Council is due to vote on a 15pc cut.

hnews@herald.ie

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