Local Property Tax: Another case of the Dubs versus the rest

Smart Money: Why are Dublin councils cutting bills and many others voting to increase them?

In total, local property tax provided around 10 per cent of all local authority spending last year. Photograph: iStock

In total, local property tax provided around 10 per cent of all local authority spending last year. Photograph: iStock

Councils across the country have been voting on the level at which they will charge local property tax for 2020. As reliably as Greece and Cyprus voting for each other in the Eurovision, the four Dublin councils have voted to continue to reduce the annual charge for households. However a lot more authorities outside Dublin are voting to increase the charge this year, to provide more cash for local services. This is a big change from a few years ago. But should Dubliners be getting a reduction? And why is the tax so controversial in the capital? A lot of it comes down, not only to house prices, but how the money is allocated.

1. How can the tax vary across the country?

Local councils can vote to increase or decrease the charge by 15 per cent from its base level each year and decisions now being taken will show up in your bill for 2020. This has an impact on council finances – while some revenue is shared across councils, the cost or benefit of changes from the base level are taken directly in the budget of the voting local authority.

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