Fianna Fáil backs property tax cut in Dublin

Party commits to reducing tax by 15%

 Mary Fitzpatrick, Fianna Fáil’s European Parliament candidate for Dublin will support property tax cut. Photograph: Maxwell’s

Mary Fitzpatrick, Fianna Fáil’s European Parliament candidate for Dublin will support property tax cut. Photograph: Maxwell’s

Thu, Apr 24, 2014, 22:41


Fianna Fáil is the latest party to say it will reduce the property tax at local authority level, and it will mandate its Dublin councillors to vote for such a decrease this September.

The party will today publish its Dublin manifesto, which outlines a range of policies Fianna Fáil says its councillors in the four local authorities in the capital will pursue if elected.

It also says its Dublin candidate for the European Parliament, Mary Fitzpatrick, will support the initiatives, including a new “Dublin city centre Garda Síochána public order unit”, if elected as an MEP.


Antisocial
The new Garda unit would be established to combat drug dealing and antisocial behaviour in the main commercial areas of the city centre.

Each council has the power to vary the property tax by 15 per cent, and has been given until September 30th by the Revenue Commissioners to decide what level of cut, or increase, they intend to apply, if any.

While reserving its position for the rest of the country until its full manifesto launch, Fianna Fáil says “Dublin homeowners are paying more property tax than the rest of the country” and commits to reducing the tax by 15 per cent across Dublin.

Labour has already made a similar commitment, while Fine Gael’s local election manifesto, due to be launched next week, will promise to reduce the property tax in areas that have high commercial rates bases, which would favour urban councils in Dublin and elsewhere.


Closely watched
Fianna Fáil’s performance in the capital in the local and European elections will be closely watched, since it has no Dublin TDs and is attempting to rebuild.

Former minister for education Mary Hanafin this week described the party’s performance in Dublin as “brutal”, echoing similar comments by former taoiseach Bertie Ahern.

Fianna Fáil is also proposing a new commercial rates system for Dublin, including a revamp of the current rates valuation system which would include a “strong-evaluation programme”, as well as an “inability to pay clause”.

Other initiatives include a new IFSC-style authority for the information and communications and technology (ICT) sector centred around the Grand Canal Dock area of Dublin city centre to “cater for the needs of the multinational companies already established here and attract new firms”.

A cultural hub for the north inner city is also included in the Dublin manifesto.