Catherine Murphy TD, Co-Leader of the Social Democrats, has cautiously welcomed the Taoiseach’s remarks yesterday regarding property tax hikes but she said the entire system of Local Property Tax requires significant overhaul as research undertaken by her shows the system is not working in a fair manner across the country.

She also strongly challenged the premise of LPT as a form of wealth tax and said that many people are paying tax on a debt and meanwhile we have a situation where land-hoarding of zoned lands is going untaxed.

Deputy Murphy has been examining the data underpinning the LPT system in Ireland and according to Deputy Murphy, the data clearly shows that the basis of LPT allocations to Local Authorities is fundamentally flawed.

Speaking today Catherine Murphy TD said:

“While I am pleased to hear the Taoiseach commit to protecting people from significant LPT hikes, I would also urge him to look in more detail at how the LPT system works. It is a convoluted and obscure system and such confusion is a great way of hiding what is essentially an unfair system.”

“There is a Baseline funding amount set for each Council which takes no account of the Census data and as a result it is skewing the equalisation fund – the fund which was established to ensure equity in LPT allocations amongst Counties. This has resulted in a situation where some of the more highly populated areas find themselves receiving significantly less funding for services than areas which have smaller populations. ”

“In addition to the data showing disparity in the allocations there is also a very unfair element of the system which sees those people who are deemed to have an inability to pay being penalised by 4% a year for that inability. It  is essentially a penalty for being poor.”

“The system is simply not equitable and any cursory look at the data will show the need for a review of the system.”

26th September 2017

Download the SocDems Submission on Local Government Funding.

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