Dublin City Council votes against Local Property Tax increasePadraig Conlon 22 Sep 2020
Property tax bills for Dublin city residents won’t rise after the council voted last night to keep a 15% local property tax cut.
Councillors voted by 34-21 to retain the lower rate despite requests from city council management for an increase to help offset the financial impact of Covid-19.
Council chief executive Owen Keegan and head of finance, Kathy Quinn, had asked instead for a 15% increase, which would raise an extra €24m, to maintain services.
Mr Keegan told councillors:
“The need for additional resources has never been more pertinent in terms of the absolute requirement for additional funding to support services, in contrast to the minimal impact on householders of the change”.
Councillors can reduce or increase the rate by 15% and Dublin City Councillors have voted each year to apply the maximum reduction.
The proposal would have seen the average annual charge increase by over €120 from €344 to €465 for city residents.
Sinn Féin Dublin City Councillor Daithí Doolan said:
“Tonight’s vote is to be welcomed.
“Sinn Féin’s motion to cut the property tax by 15% was focused on easing the financial burden on Dublin families.
“The Local Property Tax-Family Home Tax was introduced as an austerity tax and should be immediately scrapped.
“Dublin City Council face a large financial deficit because of the covid crisis.
“But it is grossly unfair to put the burden of paying for this crisis on the shoulders of families who face a very uncertain future.
“There are progressive and sustainable ways of funding local government.
“Taxing the family home is not one of them.
“Sinn Féin will continue to actively campaign against this unjust tax untill we are in a position to bin it once and for all.
“For now we are happy to reduce it by the maximum 15%.”
Labour councillor Dermot Lacey however did not agree with the result of the council’s vote last night.
“It’s not so much that I favoured it, it’s necessary,” he said.
“We have a gap of about €40m in the City Council budget.
“When we come to the budget in around two months’ time, we either cut services or we increase rates and rents.
“The property tax proposal we made was for a 5% increase which would have meant about 60c per week per person who pays a local property tax.
“We think that’s better than cutting services.
“Last night we were faced with the very simple issue of the maths of the €40m shortfall.”