“Benny Hill economics” is a good title for the property tax farce currently playing in city and county halls up and down the country. Thanks to the byzantine workings of the state finances, local authorities will have to pay tax on their housing stock.
The snag is most of them have little or no money in the public coffers because grants have been slashed. But that cuts no ice with the implacable Revenue Commissioners. Like it or not, councils have to pay up one way or another. That means either absorbing the liability themselves or increasing the rent of hard-pressed tenants.
Effectively, they will then send the money to Revenue who in turn pass it onto central government. It then goes into the Local Government fund, and from there, supposedly, back to the various councils (watch this space). Even Benny Hill couldn’t dream it up.
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