Saturday 29 November 2014

Some councils will be better off – but no change for the rest

Published 28/07/2014 | 02:30

Don't take our word for it. Brendan Howlin says some councils will have money from the property tax to give some funding back to homeowners next year.

In 2015, councils will get the bulk of the money collected in property tax in their area. Plus, the councils will be able to cut or hike the tax by 15pc – depending on their budgetary position.

Although central government funding will be reduced and motor tax taken away, some councils will be better off.

"Those that generate sufficient surpluses will be able to do it," Mr Howlin said in an interview with the Irish Independent last week. The Public Expenditure Minister was happy to be clear on the issue.

Irish Independent: "Obviously it depends how much of a surplus you have but you would maintain there are about a dozen who should have the capacity to reduce?"

Mr Howlin: "Yes. Of that order."

Irish Independent: "Of that order. And some won't have sufficient funds to reduce by a whole 15pc, but they will to a degree?"

Mr Howlin: "Yes."

Irish Independent: "And meanwhile, there are others, without naming names, where – because their base is so big and their property prices are so high – you think they will be able to go the whole hog to the 15pc?"

Mr Howlin: "And still have..."

Irish Independent: "And still have money left over?"

Mr Howlin: "And still have significant flushness after that."

Mr Howlin is basing his predictions on figures compiled by the Government which compare every council's revenue this year with the funding they will receive when the local property tax goes local next year.

The minister did decline to list the individual councils who will be able to cut their rate next year.

But the Irish Independent has established the identity of the 12 areas.

Predictably, the four local authorities in Dublin are on the list. These are the only councils guaranteed to be able to give a full 15pc cut to homeowners in their area. But homeowners in Cork City, Cork County, Galway City, Kerry, Clare, Meath, Kildare and Wicklow can also expect some reduction.

The remaining 19 councils will be no worse off.

Irish Independent

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