Homeowners in Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown are to get maximum 15pc cut in their local property tax

Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown county councillors voted 24-16 for the full allowable cut to the LPT

Lifeguards at Sandycove, which is in Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown

Ciara O'Loughlin

Homeowners in Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown will benefit from a maximum 15pc cut in their Local Property Tax (LPT).

At a special council meeting held this evening, Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael, People Before Profit and two independent councillors voted to give a property tax cut of 15pc to homeowners.

The motion was passed with 24 councillors in favour and 16 against.

LPT is a self-assessed tax charged on the market value of residential properties in the country and a 15pc cut to LPT is legally the largest cut a local authority can make.

Speaking at the special county council meeting, Independent councillor Anne Colgan, who was against the motion, said the 15pc tax cut will not hugely benefit the average homeowner, but it will benefit institutional landlords.

“Any reduction of the local property tax beyond 2.5pc will require service cuts or additional charges,” she said. “Neither should be acceptable to this council, we can’t make the decision today based on speculation about possible extra funding later this year, because to do that is gambling with council services and we have no right to take that gamble.

“The department has given us our allocation and we have to work on known facts and not speculation or crystal balls.

“A 15pc reduction will benefit somebody with a home valued at €300,000 by €47; by contrast, an institutional landlord owning 1,000 units is likely to save at a very conservative estimate in the region of €60,000.

“Is it fair to cut services for every citizen in order to secure such savings for institutional landlords? Of course, the LPT is not a fair tax, we know that, but it is not our role as the elected governor of this council to reduce the LPT to ease the impact of an unfair tax, that’s the job of the Revenue Commissioners.”

Fine Gael councillor Jim O’Leary voted for the motion to reduce LPT by 15pc because he said this is “legitimate given the amount that the homeowners in this constituency pay relative to homeowners everywhere else in the country.”

Speaking before the meeting, People Before Profit Councillor Melisa Halpin, who also backed the motion, called Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael councillors hypocrites for also backing it.

"The blatant hypocrisy of the Fianna Fáil/Fine Gael DLR councillors, proposing a 15pc reduction, beggars belief as in government they have introduced legislation which would see a rise in the property tax for roughly 37pc of home owners; the increase will be at least €90 per year,” she said.

"It will also bring about 100,000 new homeowners into the tax band.”

Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown is one of the wealthiest areas in the country, and in 2015, according to a Sunday Times report, the county council was the richest local authority in Ireland.

According to the 2016 census, households in Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown had the highest median income in the country at €66,203.

This is followed by Fingal (€58,795) and Kildare (€54,472).

Households with the lowest incomes were in Donegal (€32,259), Leitrim (€34,800) and Longford (€34,892).

According to the CSO, last year Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown had the highest median price for a home in the country at €537,842.

South Dublin has the lowest median house price in the Dublin region at €353,000, while Leitrim has the lowest median price for a house in the country, at €110,000.

In 2020, €480m from LPT was transferred to the Local Government Fund, of which €43m was from Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown.

The local council collected the most LPT in the country after Dublin City, which collected €67m.

This article was updated on August 30, 2021

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