The local property tax is “unfair" on Dubliners as people elsewhere in the country pay less, a Fianna Fáil Councillor has said.
Cllr Deirdre Heney, Fianna Fáil leader on Dublin City Council, says she can’t back increasing the tax in the capital until “something is done about the unfairness of it”.
She was speaking after councillors voted to not increase the rate of local property tax next year.
It means the 15% reduction in the standard rate will continue for Dubliners in 2022.
The move comes despite calls for the council to increase the tax to raise extra funds for the city in the wake of the pandemic.
On Lunchtime Live, Deputy Heney said it’s within the council’s power to either reduce or increase the LPT rate by up to 15%.
She said: “I believe it is the right decision not to increase the property tax.
“It is very unfair on the citizens of Dublin. You’re charged on the basis of the cost of your property - so if I’m living in Dublin… the charge that I pay is much higher than the charge that is paid by someone in, say, Co Clare for the exact same house.
“Until such time as something is done about the unfairness of it, the Fianna Fáil group in Dublin City Council is not prepared to put another charge on the citizens of Dublin… where the cost of living in Dublin is high.
“There’s absolutely no thought put into the ability to pay or location of your home.”
Council chief executive had warned councillors about the urgent need for additional funding, but Cllr Heney said Mr Keegan isn’t elected by the public.
She insisted there still is money available to pay for services.
'We could have used that money for anything'
Cllr Michael Pidgeon, Green Party Councillor for South-West Inner City Dublin, said he’s disappointed by yesterday’s vote.
He said: “I understand [Cllr Heney’s] position… it’s a perfectly fair one. But the other side of saying we don’t want to increase taxes for Dubliners is we don’t want to increase services for Dubliners.
“If you owned an average one or two bed apartment in Dublin, you’re probably only going to save about €34 per year - I think that’s a really small amount. The only people who actually save substantial amounts of money from this tax cut… tend to be people who have homes worth in excess of €2-3 million.
“The money we could have raised by not giving a tax cut… would have raised around €12 million. We could have used that for anything - it’s completely unrestricted.”
He said the money could be used towards the likes of improving parks or fixing local roads, or put towards funding bigger public projects such as an outdoor pool.
He said he particularly doesn't support prioritising a tax cut after what the city and country have gone through over the last year.
Changes to the local property tax system are due to come into effect soon for the coming years.
While most homes are not expected to face increased bills, thousands of homeowners will see increases.
Tax will also be charged on properties built since 2013 for the first time.