Calls to make property tax ‘fair’

Private housing estates should pay 35% less local property tax (LPT), because they do not receive the same services as estates looked after by local authorities.

That is the opinion of some Cork county councillors, who are writing to the Government asking it to drop LPT rates for householders who pay for estate maintenance themselves.

Cllr Marcia D’Alton proposed the move. She said it was not equitable that householders in such estates should be charged the same as everybody else, and that a 35% reduction “would reflect the lower level of local authority service delivered to estates not taken in charge by them”.

Cllr Tim Collins said he knew several estates where householders regularly pay for potholes to be filled. “They’re paying the same [LPT] tax as everybody else. It’s not fair,” he said.

Cllr Kevin Conway said he was aware of one estate in Blarney, built 30 years ago on a hill. Its residents are not supplied with grit by the local authority during the winter, because the estate has not been taken in charge by the council.

“The [LPT] legislation should be fair and equitable,” added Cllr Deirdre Forde.

Cllr Des O’Grady said it was Sinn Fein’s position that the council should ask for a 35% reduction in the LPT on all estates, whether they had been taken in charge or not, and he sought an amendment, on those grounds, to her motion.

However, his amendment was defeated on a vote of 30 to 8. Cllr D’Alton said she appreciated Sinn Fein’s position, but she wanted a reduction for people who were simply not getting the services they were supposed to from the LPT.

Council chief executive, Tim Lucey, said the local authority had no jurisdiction in dropping LTP rates for any specific group. Mayor of County Cork, Cllr Seamus McGrath, agreed that the council should now write to the Government, seeking the 35% reduction, nationally, for all estates not taken in charge by local authorities.


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