STATEMENT BY CLLR RICHARD HUMPHREYS
Labour Party Councillor for the Stillorgan Ward
Leader of Labour Group – Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council
Friday, 7 February 2014
HUMPHREYS CALLS FOR 15% REDUCTION OF PROPERTY TAX IN DUN LAOGHAIRE-RATHDOWN
Cllr Richard Humphreys, the Labour Party Councillor for the Stillorgan Ward, has called for a 15% reduction of the local property tax in Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown in next year’s Council budget.
“Home owners in Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown are paying local property tax at a relatively high rate due to the higher market value of homes in our county.” Humphreys said.
“It is therefore fair and reasonable to give home owners in our county a break by proposing a significant reduction in the property tax bill.”
“New Government legislation gives local authorities an extra funding source from 2015 with retention of 80% of the property tax at local level. There is also power given to councils to vary the charge by up to 15%. I welcome the option of giving local government some say over the rate of property tax at local level.” Humphreys said.
“Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown is uniquely placed to avail of the 15% reduction. We have the highest compliance level in the country and therefore have a very high property tax collection level, equivalent to €45.6 Million in a full year.”
“This is an 88% compliance level with the tax as of November 2013. In those circumstances there is ample scope to review and reduce the level of property tax in our county” Humphreys said.
“Some commentators have suggested that services would need to be reduced to meet a property tax cut. However this is not my reading of the figures. The Council can reasonably expect an income from the local property tax of about €36.5 M per year. This is significantly in excess of the €25.7 M per year which we receive annually from central government. Therefore, even if there are any adjustments in existing funding streams, there will be additional income which can allow for leeway to reduce the property tax without any loss of local services.” Humphreys said.
“I will be pushing for a 15% reduction to become part of the 2015 Council budget” Humphreys said. “I very much welcome the recent statement by Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore in support of such a reduction.”