The Minister for the Environment Phil Hogan has back-tracked on his commitment that 80% of the property tax paid in Dublin next year would be used to fund local services, employment offices and job creation in the city, according to Fianna Fáil Councillor Mary Fitzpatrick.

Councillor Fitzpatrick said: “Minister Hogan has announced that he will not allow local authorities use 80% of the Local Property Tax collected in their area to fund local services as he previously promised.  He has announced that he will instead keep the more than €150million in property tax collected in Dublin to fund his crazy Irish Water scheme. 

On March 12th 2013 Minister Hogan said the Government “has accepted, in principle, a policy position that from next year 80% of all Local Property Tax (LPT) receipts should be retained with the local authority areas where the properties are based and that these receipts should be utilised by those authorities in their local budgets.  This will assist in the funding of new services such as the establishments of Local Enterprise Offices and other labour activation measures that will help create jobs.”

On October 16th 2013 Minister Hogan said: “Retention of a proportion of local property tax receipts at source will now commence from 2015 onwards.”

Councillor Mary Fitzpatrick said: “The Minister has done a complete u-turn on his own commitment that 80% of local property taxes would remain where they are collected next year.  Instead he has announced that local authorities will retain “a proportion” of local property taxes from 2015 at the earliest.  Minister Hogan is putting his hands into the pockets of Dublin homeowners and extracting €50million for his own crazy pet project to privatise water services in a secret deal through the creation of Irish Water.  Dubliners will rightly be extremely annoyed by this underhand move by the Minister particularly given that there has been an average 90% compliance rate for the property tax across Dublin. (see table below).

“Dubliners paid €80m in property tax this year and will pay over €160m across the four Dublin local authorities next year.  People signed up to the property largely in good faith.  Many people took Minister Hogan at his word that 80% of the taxes raised locally would be spent locally and their elected representatives would have a say in how that money is spent in communities across the city.  This amounts to a disgraceful betrayal by a Minister who seems intent on consistently centralising power and increasing his control over local authorities.”

Councillor Fitzpatrick added: “Minister Hogan also made a worrying reference in his October 16th comments when he said ‘As the priority has been to get the model of funding for Irish Water right, and in particular ensuring that the Service Level Agreements to be put in place with local authorities provide sufficient funding for the delivery of water services in 2014 and beyond, we haven’t as yet been in a position to finalise the corresponding model to replace the system of general purpose grants to the Local Government sector.. so we will continue to operate a system of general purpose grants for 2014.’  

“The establishment of Irish Water has been shambolic to date.  The Minister says the reason he is holding on to the Local Property Tax receipts until 2015 is because the Government has not yet worked out the costs involved in setting-up Irish Water.  I have previously said that the Government is making a huge mistake prioritising the introduction of water meters ahead of securing water supply for the city.

“It is totally unacceptable that the Minister’s failure to get his house in order with Irish Water should leave homeowners who paid their property tax being punished and left to fund his crazy plan for Irish Water.

“The Minister needs to keep his commitments to the homeowners of Dublin.”

Local AuthorityLPT 2013LPT 2014Local Govt Fund 2013LPT Compliance
Dublin City €32,400,000€64,800,000€52,613,53187%
Fingal €14,800,000€29,600,000€19,619,59091%
Dun Laoghaire Rathdown€21,000,000€42,000,000€24,772,29192%
South Dublin€12,400,000€24,800,000€16,285,34890%
Total: €80,600,000€161,200,000€113,290,760