Two Dublin local authorities have voted not to increase the rate of Local Property Tax (LPT) that will be paid by homeowners in their area next year.
However, households in the Fingal and South Dublin County Council areas could still face higher bills following the upcoming revaluation of their homes.
Homeowners are required to submit a new valuation for their properties in November, in what will be the first revision to valuations since the LPT was introduced in 2013.
Local authorities each year set the rate of the tax homeowners pay and have been asked to set their LPT rate earlier than normal this year due to the revaluation. Fingal and South Dublin are among the first local authorities nationally, and are the first in Dublin, to set their 2022 rate.
Councillors have the power to increase or reduce the rate charged in their area by up to 15 per cent each year from the basic rate, which is calculated based on the value of a property.
Last year just three local authorities reduced the rate – all in Dublin. South Dublin and Dublin City Council went for the maximum 15 per cent cut, while Fingal went for 10 per cent. Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council, for the first time since the tax was introduced, applied no discount meaning all homeowners in the area received higher bills this year.
On Monday South Dublin County Council voted by 28 votes to six to again apply the full 15 per cent discount, with many councillors referencing the effect the Covid-19 pandemic had on people’s finances and the uncertainty for residents on the current value of their properties ahead of the November reassessment.
The Department of Finance recently indicated that following the revaluation 36 per cent of homeowners would pay a higher tax than they do at present, some 53 per cent won't see any change, while 11 per cent will see their LPT liability fall.
South Dublin County Council chief executive Daniel McLoughlin had urged councillors not to apply the full 15 per cent reduction.
While the Government had committed “significant resources” to council services during the pandemic, it was likely the burden for maintaining those services would in the future fall on local authority budgets. “It will be very difficult to maintain the same level of service without the council obtaining additional income,” he said. The LPT should be gradually increased, but he said: “that’s not my call, that’s my advice”.
Councillors voted by 26 votes to 10 against a Green Party motion to apply a reduction of 10 per cent instead of 15 per cent.
Fingal county councillors voted by 31 votes to eight to again apply a 10 per cent discount on the LPT rate.
Council chief executive Ann Marie Farrelly said it was a “prudent decision” given the “very significant uncertainties” the council faced in forming its 2022 budget. “It does pass on a significant benefit to householders” she said.
Dublin City Council and Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council will set their LPT rates next month.