Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Environment, Barry Cowen TD, has called on the Minister for the Environment to immediately publish the regulations which set out how Local Authorities will be able to vary the Local Property Tax paid by homeowners in 2015.
Deputy Cowen questioned the Minister on the topic today in the Dáil but failed to receive an adequate response.
“Under the Finance Act 2013, councillors and councils were empowered to vary the rate of the Local Property Tax homeowners pay by plus or minus 15%. As the Minister knows, legislation provides that the Revenue Commissioners must be informed and given notice by 30 September of this year so the changes can be enacted by 2015.
“The legislation, which was published in 2012, also states that regulations must be put in place by the Minister to allow for a period of consultation with local authorities. These regulations must be published immediately to allow for submission to be made and for Councils to decide what rate of LPT they will apply. With the Dáil summer break less than a month away, Minister Hogan must make this a priority.
“Last year, Minister Hogan also cynically promised that 80% of LPT collected in each local authority throughout the country would go back into local services. The public had their say on this broken promise in May when they sent the Government a very strong message in the local elections. I am calling on the Minister to pay heed to the people and indeed confirm that 80% of funding collected this year will go towards local services.
“The Minister gave a vague commitment to publish details of these schemes in the coming weeks but this is not good enough. We need to see some urgency from the Minister here and a firm commitment to publish these proposals before the Dáil rises for the summer, otherwise this will be seen as another example of the Government taking power away from local authorities and suppressing the reform they promised.”