15% cut in property tax

I was pleased to have voted for the 15% reduction of the property tax as passed at our recent City Council meeting.


When property tax was voted through Dáil Éireann by the present Government, they allowed a provision for local authorities to vary the tax by an increase or decrease of up to 15%.


The form of property tax we have is very unfair in that it is very much an urban and indeed Dublin tax. Recent figures released by the Revenue Commissioners show this to be so as most of the revenue is coming from Dublin, the surrounding commuter counties as well as a few other counties with large urban areas such as Cork and Galway.


Indeed 20% of Dublin payments have been taken by Government and redistributed to 19 counties where the revenue take was low.  As such I felt local Councillors were fully justified in exercising our right by reducing the property tax for 2015 by 15%.


The decision was passed by a clear majority with the support of Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael, Sinn Féin and Independents.  I was surprised the Labour Party did not support the motion for a 15% cut. Indeed it seemed to the rest of us that Labour Councillors, including our locally based Jane Horgan-Jones, were more interested in batting for and defending the position of their Minister in the Custom House rather than getting some relief and fairness for their constituents.


Even with the economy improving, householders still face a testing future. Water charges apply from October 1st and when residential properties are valued again in 2016, there is a danger with house prices rising, of increased property tax.