Galwegians who have not paid the Local Property Tax are being threatened with a visit from the sheriff, the withholding of tax clearance certificates, and that money will be taken money from payments such as social welfare.
The situation has been described as “very concerning” by Sinn Féin Galway City East councillor Mairéad Farrell. She has been contacted recently by a number of families who have received letters from the Collector General of Revenue threatening the withholding of tax clearance certificates, referral to the sheriff, and taking money from social welfare, pensions, and disability benefits if they “do not fork out the amount that the tax collector claims they owe”.
She said how the letters “ominously” add that if the stated amount is not paid within 14 days, the Collector General will “take whatever steps are available to me in accordance with the Finance LPT Act 2012: withholding of tax clearance cert, referral to the Sheriff or solicitor or an attachment” and claim that they may be liable to additional penalties.
Cllr Farrell said many people are unable to pay and/or are stuggling to pay with the introduction of numerous stealth taxes in recent years, along with annual rises in living costs.
“What we have here is an increasing amount of new charges and taxes being brought in,” she said, “as well as a lack of regulation pushing the costs of living up while an increasingly downward trend is evident in the quality of employment, healthcare and public services.”
She pointed out how the Government is in the process of forcing a hike in waste collection costs by bringing in charges for the use of recycling bins, a service, Cllr Farrell said will “produce a profit for private companies”; and the recent Daft.ie report on rental costs which showed rents in Galway are rising faster than anywhere in Dublin, having increased by 13 per cent from this time last year.