Current Model of Local Property Tax inherently unfair


I am regularly approached by people who legitimately ask ‘What am I getting for the Local Property Tax I pay?’ In reality the answer is, very little.

Social Democrats Co-Leader Catherine Murphy TD has made a substantial submission to the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government for use in its current process to review the methodology used to determine local authority funding baselines in order to ensure that the charging model is fair.

Catherine Murphy has researched issues surrounding Local Government Funding and Local Property Tax for many years had her submission reflects a deep understanding of the mechanisms of how the funding streams operate and are distributed. The results of that analysis point to a significant inequity in the system which ensures that many rapidly developing, often urban, areas lose out to more rural communities because of the way in which the baseline funding amounts are set.  The submission also takes the view that the current system cannot legitimately be deemed a Local Property Tax when substantial portions of the amounts they pay are redirected to other areas.

Catherine Murphy TD said:

“I am regularly approached by people who legitimately ask “what am I getting for the Local Property Tax I pay?” In reality the answer is, very little. The way the funding model is currently designed means that many areas that have experienced significant population growth in recent years have not seen services keep pace with demand and as a result they are significantly disadvantaged when compared to more rural areas.

“Under the current model of LPT Distribution you could be paying significant sums of LPT based on property prices in Fingal for example, and yet find that not only do you have substandard services, but that a large chunk of Fingal’s local authorities income from LPT is actually sent to other counties, with a lesser demand for services, in order to bolster their baseline. It is an inherent unfairness that is built into the system and unless significant changes are made which take account of population changes, demographics and current needs, then Local Property Tax cannot legitimately continue to be referred to as a ‘Local’ Property Tax.

3rd July 2018

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