Local property tax is regressive

 

Sir, – Dublin City Council has once again voted against an increase in property tax. There is no contradiction in this approach for anyone on the left, contrary to what your editorial suggests (“The Irish Times view on property tax: the tax-averse left”, September 23rd).

The local property tax (LPT) takes no account of level of earnings or the equity an individual actually has in the property. For example, a single person living in a home for many years in an area where values have increased substantially, and who may be on a modest salary, would have to pay the same amount of property tax as their neighbour with substantial earnings who recently bought into the area.

In other European countries, the mortgage amount owing on a property may be deducted before property tax is levied. This does not happen in Ireland.

Furthermore, just because a wealthier person pays more does not make for an equitable system.

I may pay €2,000 in LPT and another person €400. But if I’m taking home €100,000 per annum, and the other person is netting €20,000, then we are contributing the same as a proportion of our earnings. I then have €98,000 left to spend for the year, leaving me with plenty for discretionary spending, while she has €19,600, and this to cover living, transport, health, insurance, childcare and other costs that most people accept are very expensive in this country.

The view that LPT is a regressive tax is a valid one.

Progressive taxes on income and wealth are the way to pay for the public services we need. – Yours, etc,

SEÁN LEAKE,

Terenure,

Dublin 6W.