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Dubliners facing higher property tax under new council after years of maximum discount

Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil councillors expected to agree to increases in exchange for Labour support

Dublin homeowners may be faced with higher local property tax. Photograph: iStock

Dublin homeowners face higher local property tax (LPT) bills under a new Fine Gael-led powersharing agreement expected to be ratified by Dublin city councillors on Friday.

Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil have consistently voted for the lowest possible annual LPT charge, but look set to agree to increases from 2026 to secure the support of the Green Party and Labour for their power pact.

LPT, which is based on the value of a property, has a base rate that can be raised or lowered by 15 per cent by councillors each year. Since the introduction of the tax in 2013, Dublin city councillors have always voted for the maximum discount.

Last year Labour, the Greens and the Social Democrats put forward a motion to charge the full rate. This motion, which was defeated, would have resulted in higher bills for homeowners this year but, the parties said, would have resulted in much improved services for Dubliners.


Last weekend Labour was in talks with the Social Democrats, Greens and Sinn Féin in relation to forming a “progressive alliance” of left-leaning parties on the council. With the Social Democrats, now the second largest party on the council with 10 seats, Sinn Féin on nine, the Greens on eight and Labour on four, the support of just one other councillor would be needed to secure a majority of 32.

However, at the start of this week Labour pulled out due to Sinn Féin’s opposition to increasing LPT. This was not a fatal blow to the left alliance, with potentially five left-leaning Independents and two People Before Profit councillors available to make up the numbers.

The group had been due to meet on Wednesday evening, but the Greens withdrew, leaving too big a hole for the alliance to fill. While the Green group has said it is “still working” on possible agreements for governing the council it is understood its focus, along with that of Labour has shifted to Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil.

Left alliance on Dublin City Council in doubt over local property tax disputeOpens in new window ]

Fine Gael is the largest party on the council with 11 seats, Fianna Fáil and the Greens both have eight, with Labour bringing this group to 31, just one Independent would be needed to secure a majority and pass a vote for Lord Mayor. The mayoral position is subject to annual vote, with Fine Gael’s James Geoghegan expected to be appointed in the first year.

However, this arrangement depends on Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil changing their traditional stance on LPT, which Labour has made a redline issue. It is understood the two larger parties are not willing to vote for increasing the charge on homeowners ahead of the general election, but have agreed to allow increases from 2026.

The Social Democrats and Sinn Féin issued separate statements on Thursday confirming Labour and the Greens were no longer part of their grouping, with the Social Democrats particularly critical of Labour referring to them as “mudguards” for Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil.

Sinn Féin said both the Greens and Labour had been “very shortsighted”.

Labour’s Darragh Moriarty said “at the moment it’s looking like Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil are willing to make very significant concessions when it comes to LPT that will raise significant revenue us as councillors can ringfence ... it is something we have to strongly consider.”

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Olivia Kelly

Olivia Kelly

Olivia Kelly is Dublin Editor of The Irish Times