City councillors vote down proposal to reduce Property Tax

The local property tax is set to rise in 2019 to reflect the increases in house prices in Galway over the past four years - meaning Galwegians are likely to be hit with substantially higher rates in the coming years, Sinn Féin has warned.

At Monday’s city council meeting, Sinn Féin’s Cllr Mairéad Farrell proposed to reduce the Local Property Tax by 15 per cent for householders across Galway city. Local authorities can raise or lower the level of property tax by a maximum of 15 per cent in either direction. Dublin City Council, Dun Laoghaire County Council, South Dublin County Council, and Fingal County Council used the measure to reduced the tax in their areas.

Sinn Féin said it was calling for the reduction of the tax as the party believes it is “unfair as it does not take into account a household’s ability to pay”. However, the motion was defeated by a combination of Fine Gael, Labour, the Independent ex-PD grouping, and some Independent councillors.

She said a problem with the current level of the LPT is that current house valuations of the LPT are based on 2013 property prices, and that they are due to change in the near future to reflect 2019 valuations - something which will create uncertainty for home owners as property prices have risen sharply in recent years.

Cllr Farrell said that since the 2013 valuations, prices of houses in Galway city have increased on average by 48 per cent. “This rise in the value of houses will not only change the amount owed by each household, but may also change the band in which the household sits,” she said, “therefore increasing the tax even further - households being hit twice.”

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