Independent TD Michael Lowry lobbied Phil Hogan about changing housing and motor-related taxes in order to benefit his constituents, documents reveal.
The Tipperary deputy sent a series of letters to the then environment minister following the formation of the Fine Gael-Labour coalition.
Documents released to the Irish Examiner under the Freedom of Information Act show Mr Lowry wanted Mr Hogan to review funding for a community centre in Two-Mile Borris, a village beside a site where the TD had also backed plans for a proposed giant casino.
In one letter to Mr Hogan in January 2012, Mr Lowry highlighted the case of a man with two properties facing penalties for not paying the non-principle private residence charge.
He said the constituent’s payment of the charge “simply slipped his mind” and that the owner felt the imposition of the charges was “unfair and excessive”.
“On this basis I am appealing to you to review this case in an early and favourable manner.”
In February that year, Mr Lowry made representations to Mr Hogan about the household charge, the predecessor to the property tax.
A Thurles constituent had “serious concerns” paying the charge on a second home which had been “let out”, he said.
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“She has therefore asked me to contact you to encourage you to review the implementation of this charge for second properties.”
In May that year, Mr Lowry contacted the minister about a constituent in Templemore regarding a motor tax bill.
He claimed a family with six children who had bought a Mercedes Vito Van which safely facilitated all the children, were facing a large motor-tax rate.
“It is no longer feasible for such families to continue to pay should [sic] high charges on their motor tax given the cuts to wages and the cuts to family supports…On this basis I am asking you to review the current system of motor tax in place for such rules”.
Another letter shows how Mr Lowry asked the minister for “assistance” for a community centre in North Tipperary, a few miles away from the site for a planned ‘super’ casino.
He highlighted funding “challenges” of €1.2m for the Littleton Community Centre in Two-Mile Borris, saying he would “appreciate” the minister’s “assistance in addressing challenges”.
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