Reforming the local property tax

 

Sir, – Your editorial on Government indecision on the local property tax is timely (“The Irish Times view on property tax: In need of proper reform”, September 12th).

Allowing this tax to wither on the vine has already eroded the so-called “wealth tax” intention and now we can see that it is beginning to exacerbate inequity as individual councils begin using their powers to alter the rate. This sees citizens paying more simply based on where they live. An example is the recent decision of Sligo County Council to increase the tax by 15 per cent, while we are told that citizens who happen to live in the Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown area will continue to enjoy a reduction of 15 per cent. This will see their liability on middle-band five amount to almost €150 less than what Sligo citizens will have to pay. And because the LPT pays no regard for “ability to pay”, inequity is worsened by the fact that the residents of Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown enjoy one of the highest average household incomes, standing at nearly twice the Sligo average. A clear case of the Government pursuing a policy that sees those with the least being forced to pay the most. It is now urgent that the Government addresses these anomalies, and at least immediately remove those aspects of the LPT that allow such discrimination and injustice. – Yours, etc,

JIM O’SULLIVAN,

Rathedmond,

Sligo.