Councillors vote against property tax hike in Dun Laoghaire, Fingal

Council executives warn money foregone could have been spent on vital services

A motion by Fingal Green Party councillor Roderic O’Gorman to reduce the local property tax next year by 7.5% rather than 15% fell  and was not voted on after the other motions were accepted.  Photograph: David Sleator

A motion by Fingal Green Party councillor Roderic O’Gorman to reduce the local property tax next year by 7.5% rather than 15% fell and was not voted on after the other motions were accepted. Photograph: David Sleator

 

Councillors in Fingal and Dún Laoghaire last night voted to cut the rate of property tax by 15 per cent for 2017, the maximum discount permissible. The cut is the same as was applied for this year, meaning homeowners’ tax bills will not change next year.

Dublin City Council and South Dublin County Council will vote within the next two weeks on whether to vary the charge for 2017. All four Dublin local authorities last year decided to give the maximum 15 per cent cut.

The local property tax came into effect on July 1st, 2013. A half-year charge was payable in 2013 and a full-year charge payable from 2014 onwards.

The amount of tax paid is based on the value of the property on May 1st, 2013. At the standard rate, a house then valued at €325,000 would have a property tax liability of €585. A house valued at €675,000 would have a charge of €1,215.

Power to decide

Last year the Dublin local authorities were among 11 that chose to apply the full 15 per cent cut, meaning a homeowner who would have had a basic or standard charge of €585 paid €497.25, while those who would have been liable to pay €1,215, were only charged €1,032.75.

Dún Laoghaire chief executive Philomena Poole warned demands by councillors on the council’s services were “well in excess of the capacity to deliver” due to inadequate staffing and a lack of funding.

Price pressure

Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown councillors voted 31 for and six against the 15 per cent cut.

Fingal chief executive Paul Reid said the full 15 per cent reduction would result in the council foregoing some €5.7 million. This money could have been spent on housing, and in particular housing adaptations for people with disabilities, as well as on roads and parks.

Two motions to support the full cut in Fingal were supported by 28 councillors, with nine voting against and no abstentions. A motion by Green Party councillor Roderic O’Gorman to reduce the tax next year by 7.5 per cent fell and was not voted on after the other motions were accepted.