There will be no change to Local Property Tax (LPT ) rates in 2023, Westmeath county councillors rejecting a recommendation from local authority management to impose a 10 percent increase at the recent elected representative sitting on Monday afternoon.
It is within the remit of sitting councillors to adjust the (LPT ) on an annual basis, but elected representatives agreed to maintain the status quo, despite council management noting that a potential 10 percent increase would realise an additional €617,000 in 2023 to address escalating local authority costs.
Noting the benefit of raising the LPT for 2023, the council stated that an increase in relevant revenue would assist greatly with the maintainence of existing services and community supports, respond to local needs and priorities, and invest in the continued development of the county.
Cathaoirleach Voices Staunch Opposition
Addressing the most recent sitting of Westmeath County Council on Monday afternoon, Cllr Aengus O’Rourke, Cathaoirleach, stated his staunch opposition to an increase in the Local Property Tax (LPT ) for 2023.
“When I took on the role as Cathaoirleach in June, I gave an undertaking not to support an increase in the LPT and today I delivered on that commitment. I want to thank the members of the council for strongly supporting my position. I was first to set out my strong views on this matter and the members in the main were supportive of my position.
“As Cathaoirleach of Westmeath County Council I was determined to take the lead on this matter at our meeting today to decide the LPT rate for 2023. I see this as a very important decision at this very difficult time for everyone.
“As a result, there will be no change to the LPT in 2023. I acknowledge, that as a council we will have to deliver a very difficult budget in November for the county next year, but we all have to do what we can to be leaner, more efficient and to ‘cut our cloth’ to measure. I am confident that working together with the council officials we will arrive at a budget for 2023 that means we maintain the services we have today as a local authority.
“Every household is feeling the financial pressure at this time with interest rates rising, car fuel, heating costs, utility bills and grocery essentials all rising at a rate never experienced before. What I do not want is for Westmeath County Council to add to that misery by increasing the property tax and I am pleased to tell householders today that there will be no increase. We have managed tough budgets before and I have every confidence that we will navigate a workable budget for next year that ensures we maintain our current service levels,” Cllr O’Rourke asserted.
As per figures released by the local authority, 49.3 percent of homeowners live in Band 1 properties - valued at below €200,000, 28.9 percent reside in Band 2 properties, 14.5 percent dwell in Band 3 properties, while 7.3 percent live in Band 4 properties.
If councillors had chosen to approve the local authority management’s LPT increase proposal on Monday of this week, homeowners in Band 1 (€0-€200,000 ) would have had to pay an additional €9, increasing their LPT charges for 2023 from €90 to €99, homeowners in Band 2 (€200,001 to €262,500 ) would have incurred a further €22 charge, rising their LPT charge to €247, homeowners in Band 3 (€262,502 to €350,000 ) would have had to pay an extra €31, taking their charges up €346, while those homeowners in Band 4 (over €350,000 ) would have incurred an increase of at least €40 more, ensuring their annual payments increased to in excess of €445.