Property tax unequal, says Mitchell
Fine Gael TD Olivia Mitchell has said Dublin residents will pay disproportionally for local services because there is “huge inequity” in the way the new Local Property Tax is calculated.
Speaking on RTÉ’s News at One, Ms Mitchell said most people “accept reluctantly” that a property tax is needed, but “bitterly resent the method that is used to calculate it”.
“A house in Dublin will pay up to six times more than an identical house in another local authority. Nobody, no matter where you live in Ireland, can think that is fair,” she said.
“It is going to be difficult to pay and it is going to be extremely unpopular, but every tax has to be fair and reasonable.”
She said income tax is used to redistribute wealth from richer urban areas to poorer rural ones, but this was a local tax.
“Rural people have said to me that they don’t have the same services, but that’s my whole argument, you should pay for what services you do have, but no more,” she said.
Earlier today, Minister for Environment Phil Hogan said it had always been the case that residents in the major urban centres paid more tax, which was divided out between each local authority in order to maintain basic services in rural counties.
“We have listened to the various views about how the system would be implemented and the Government has decided that market value is the basis of doing that because it represents the closest possible yard stick towards the level of amenities and services you are living in,” he said.
“Ultimately, property tax will become the main source of revenue for the local authority, and people will see that whatever is collected in the area will be spent in the area.”