No change to Lo­cal Prop­erty Tax in 2019

The Sligo Champion - - NEWS -

THE Coun­cil has agreed not to vary the Lo­cal Prop­erty Tax (LPT) for the county next year.

In a heated de­bate about the mer­its of rais­ing or slash­ing the con­tro­ver­sial tax - which was once likened to a “vam­pire tax” by former Taoiseach Enda Kenny, Cllr De­clan Bree pointed out - mem­bers voted to leave it at the cur­rent rate.

The tax brought ¤10.2m into the Coun­cil’s bank bal­ance this year with the same amount pro­jected for 2019 if mem­bers didn’t change it.

Coun­cil­lor De­clan Bree pro­posed cut­ting the LPT by 15 per cent, as is their right to do since 2014.

Head of Fi­nance Marie Whelan told mem­bers how­ever, that if they cut the LPT by 15 per cent, it would mean a loss to the Coun­cil of al­most ¤800,000.

Cllr Seamus Kil­gan­non pro­posed no change. “To make a pro­posal to re­duce it by 800,000 and sug­gest we get it from the Gov­ern­ment is reck­less and just look­ing for pub­lic­ity,” said Cllr Kil­gan­non. “We can’t get ¤10,000 off the Gov­ern­ment never mind ¤800,000,” he said, point­ing out that the po­ten­tial sav­ing to the per­son pay­ing the tax of just over ¤13 was “very, very lit­tle” com­pare to the over­all loss of rev­enue to the Coun­cil bud­get.

He was sup­ported by Cllr Tom MacSharry: “We’d all love to re­duce it but we just can’t.”

Coun­cil Chief Ex­ec­u­tive Ciarán Hayes urged the mem­bers not to cut the LPT: “There has been a lot of talk in re­cent years of fan­tasy bud­gets... how does this pro­posal rec­on­cile with the ear­lier po­si­tion?” he said.

He said Cllr Bree’s pro­posal would re­duce the LPT in 44 per cent of house­holds by ¤13.50, but would re­duce the Coun­cil bud­get by ¤788,000.

Cllr Micheal Clarke said he would sup­port Cllr Kil­gan­non’s mo­tion if they would agreed to in­creas­ing the bud­get for grants for older peo­ple next year.

Cllr Bree’s mo­tion was de­feated by 11 votes against. Cllr Kil­gan­non’s mo­tion to leave the LPT the same for 2019 was agreed.

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