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Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown homeowners face 15% hike in property tax due to Covid crisis

Traditional discount in LPT scrapped as south Dublin council faces service cuts

East Pier, Dún Laoghaire, Co Dublin. Photograph: Eric Luke

Homeowners in the Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown area of Dublin are facing a 15 per cent hike in local property tax bills after the authority warned of a “catastrophic” impact on front line services next year.

At a meeting on Monday night councillors failed to agree a now traditional discount of 15 per cent on Local Property Tax bills – the maximum allowed by the Government.

The result is that household bills in the area which encompasses some of the State’s most expensive housing valued in multi-millions of euro, will rise by 15 per cent.

Councillors failed to agree a motion to carry on with the discount of 15 percent after a strongly worded appeal by council chief executive Philomena Poole. Ms Poole told councillors the Covid-19 pandemic had had a “catastrophic” impact on finances.

She said ratepayers would not be alone in enduring financial suffering in the year ahead and it was evident that services would be really impacted by the financial situation.

She told councillors that she had asked them in previous years that they do not vote through the 15 per cent discount, but this year she said they were facing exceptionally difficult circumstances with “no cushion”. She said the council was facing “disastrous cuts in front line services”.

Ms Poole asked councillors that in addition to scrapping the now traditional 15 per cent discount, they increase the rate of tax by “plus 5 per cent”. However councillors did not vote on such an increase.

In effectively increasing the local property taxes in Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown, councillors have ensured that those whose homes are worth between €400,000 and €450,000 will see bills increase from €650 per year to €765.

At the upper end of the scale, homes worth between €950,000 and €1 million will see their bills increase from €1, 491 to €1,755.

The actual value is assessed at 0.18 per cent on the first €1 million in value and 0.25 per cent on the portion of the value above €1 million.

The council meeting also saw the defeat of a motion from People Before Profit calling for a meeting with the relevant Government Minister to consider the crisis facing local authorities across the country.

“People are now being asked to pay for Covid-19,” said PBP councillor Melisa Halpin. “The Government has said that austerity is not the response to the Covid impact on the economy, but here we have austerity being inflicted on those who own their homes.”

She said many people considered Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown to be the home of millionaires who could well afford such an increase. But she said there were many more smaller houses than large ones, and even in the large ones people may be living alone on a pension and now face losing their home.

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Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown homeowners face 15% hike in property tax due to Covid crisis

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