A national campaign is needed to pressurise the Government into getting developers and landlords, who lease their homes to city and council councils, to pay a second home levy.
This is the view of Labour councillor Colette Connolly. At Monday’s city council meeting, she proposed a motion which calls on all local authorities in the State to demand that the Government apply a second home levy to rental accommodation properties. Her motion received the unanimous support of all the city councillors.
Cllr Connolly says it is necessary to mount a national campaign to achieve this and she welcomes the support of her fellow councillors, including those from Fianna Fáil.
Under the Local Government (Charges ) Act 2009, most second homes are liable for the €200 annual tax, known officially as the Non Principal Private Residence tax.
However, Cllr Connolly says unbelievably Fianna Fáil/Green Government excluded RAS properties from the second home levy introduced as part the April 2009 Budget.
There are almost 400 properties in Galway with more than 200 landlords registered in the RAS scheme - none of whom has to pay the levy.
Cllr Connolly said this is “typical of FF cronyism that an ordinary citizen who is left a second home is liable to pay the levy but developers and landlords in the RAS are exempt”.
Cllr Connolly said that allowing developers and landlords to be in the RAS scheme “results in a significant loss of revenue for the city and county councils”.