LPT hike was 'thoughtless'
Local Area Rep for the Labour Party Nessa Cosgrove says the recent hike in LPT was done at a time when Sligo County Council was aware that local house prices have risen since the first LPT valuations in May 2013.
"The next valuation of houses is due to happen in Nov 2020 which will inevitably see many people moving from a lower band rate to a higher one after a recent report has indicated an estimated average of 4.5 % rise in house prices.
"So for example, someone whose house was valued in 2013 to be between €100,000- €150,000 and who is currently paying €225 LPT could very possibly see their house price rise which would put them into the higher valuation band of €150,000- €200,000 in 2020 which will see an increase in payment of up to €315.
"Now, with the recent vote by the majority of Sligo County Councillors to increase this rate by 15% this in turn will mean that this LPT payment will rise next year to €362.25."
"While the Labour Party is aware that LPT's are needed to ensure the adequate provision of local services at this time, we also believe however that this 15 % increase has been imposed in an unfair and thoughtless manner and will have a direct and negative impact on the daily lives of many people who are already struggling to make ends meet.
"Many Sligo residents haven't received a pay rise in over ten years, many people are still forced to work on short-term contracts and are on minimum wages, and many families are already struggling to pay massive back- to school expenses, childcare costs and rising electricity bills.
"This is a far cry from a euro a week indicated last week by CEO Ciaran Hayes and with next year's re-evaluation of house prices this undoubtedly will be a double whammy for many households that are already struggling to pay bills," she said.
She pointed out that a large proportion of other County Councils around Ireland have decided to retain the existing LPT rate, with a small number voting to reduce it.
"Councils around the country know that thousands of additional revenue will be generated next year when the new price valuation rates kick in and have thus decided to vote against any increases this year. It's very disappointing that Sligo County Council didn't do the same," said Ms Cosgrove.