Councillors back Mayor's motion for no increases in 'unfair' Local Property Tax

"It would be a lot fairer for such a tax to apply to owners of multiple properties being used as an investment fund" says Mayor

Galway city councillors this week supported a motion by the Mayor of Galway, Cllr Colette Connolly, not to increase Local Property Tax.

At Monday's meeting, 16 of the 18 elected members voted in favour of the motion proposed by Mayor Connolly and seconded by Cllr Donal Lyons.

Mayor Connolly [pictured below] said: "The property tax is an unfair tax, which places an enormous burden particularly on those who are in receipt of just the basic social welfare pension. People who have taken out mortgages have paid some of the highest interest rates in Europe and also paid the Government Stamp Duty in addition to high income taxes for very little return.

"Most European citizens benefit from an excellent health, education, and public transport systems, as a direct benefit of paying income tax but not the Irish."

'Fairness'

Cllr Colette Connolly

She added:"It would be a lot fairer for such a tax to apply to owners of multiple properties being used as an investment fund. The property tax introduced in 2013 was ostensibly to provide for local services in each local authority such as parks, libraries etc, however, the LPT has simply become a mechanism for substituting previous capital grants received from Government.

"Of the €8.342 million received in LPT in Galway 20 per cent returns to an equalisation fund to fund other less well-off local authorities, none of which returns to Galway City Council.

"Almost 50 per cent of the total retained in Galway city displaces funding previously received from the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage for housing services and income retained by Galway City Council from the pension related deduction."

Transparency

Also at Monday's meeting, Fianna Fail Galway City East councillor, Alan Cheevers, has called for a transparency report on how local property tax is being spent.

"I cannot see value for money for my constituents in the east side of the city. I see it on the west with the developments at Cappagh Road," he said. "We don't even have a swimming pool on the east side of the city. I want a commitment on a transparency report on how property tax is being spent in their communities."

Cllr Cheevers also wants 'proper amenities' put in place to assist people in Galway. "We will have social issues," he continued. "We need good news stories on the east side like Cappagh Road."

 

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