Largest local authority in country considering 15pc property tax cut
THE country's largest local authority has sought submissions on whether the property tax should be reduced by up to 15pc.
Dublin City Council expects to collect €80m a year in the tax, which means that a drop of 15pc would result in €12m having to be found in existing budgets to provide essential services.
It came after Dun Laoghaire/ Rathdown County Council last night voted in favour of the tax cut.
A consultation period will now follow the vote before a final decision is taken in September. Local authorities are able to vary the rate applied by either reducing or increasing it by 15pc.
Dublin City Council is obliged to ask the public for their views before any hike or reduction is passed.
The local authority said last night that all submissions should inform a report from chief executive Owen Keegan, which would be presented to councillors on September 22 before a decision is made.
"Should the members decide to vary the rate, Dublin City Council must inform the Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government and the Office of The Revenue Commissioners by September 30," it said.
"Any variation which may be made would apply from January 1, 2015."
Councils can vary the property tax from 2015. The money is used to provide parks, libraries, fire and emergency services, roads maintenance and other essential services.
Fingal County Council has already committed to a cut of 15pc, which will save householders an average of €60 to €100 next year.
Fingal representatives are following Cork county councillors, who signalled their intention last month to cut the tax by 15pc.
Fingal council has the discretion to consider a cut but fears were expressed that it could have a knock-on effect on services due to a likely €5.2m shortfall in the council's coffers.
Some 80pc of the property tax take is held by the council in which it is collected. The remaining 20pc is retained by the Department of the Environment and redistributed to other local authorities.
Submissions can be made through www.dublincity.ie or by returning a form to the council offices.
Meanwhile, a number of local authorities have sought clarity from the Government over whether their property tax surplus will be cancelled out by cuts to other areas.