Donegal County Councillors have today voted to retain the Local Property Tax at a 15% increase next year.
The household tax in Donegal will remain at 15% above baseline for 2022.
Councillors in each local authority in Ireland have the power to increase or reduce the rate charged in their area by up to 15 per cent each year.
Donegal’s county councillors voted by 23 votes in favour and 13 against retaining the varied increase in the local authority for the year ahead. Sinn Fein members and Independent Cllrs Frank McBrearty, Micheal Cholm Mac Giolla Easbuig and Michael McBride voted against the increase.
Councillors held two votes on LPT variations today. The first vote on decreasing the LPT by -15% was not passed by a result of 3 for and 21 against, with 10 abstentions. A third vote failed as a result of the passing of the vote to retain the tax at +15%.
Donegal County Council retained €1,677,903 in additional LPT income for 2021.
As a result of today’s vote, the annual tax charged on residential properties in Donegal will remain at the same rate as last year. Householders in Donegal will be asked to pay up to €60.75 more tax on a home valued between €200,000-€250,000, where the baseline LPT is €405. Homes valued under €100,000 have an increase of €13.50 on their base tax of €90.
The council reported that the increase will have the potential to raise up to €1,689,652 in LPT income for Budget 2022.
Sinn Féin Councillors in Donegal voiced their opposition to the Local Property Tax and have voted against the proposal to increase the tax at today’s meeting.
Speaking today, Sinn Féin party whip on Donegal County Council Marie Therese Gallagher said: “My party believes that the local property tax is a regressive, unjust austerity measure. We believe in, and have proposed through successive alternative budgets, a tax system that raises sufficient revenue for national and local government, but that does so in a manner that is fair and progressive.
“In relation to Mica homeowners, the exemptions introduced for the Property Tax are only applicable if the property has had the engineers report completed, which at present is costing anywhere between €5-7,000. As we all know, homeowners are currently experiencing real difficulties in accessing the Mica Redress scheme because of the costs involved. Given the fact that there are currently only a few hundred applications ongoing and the vast majority of Mica Homeowners are currently not covered by the scheme, then the reality is that LPT bills for Mica homeowners will still be landing through their letterboxes this year. That is wrong.
“My party colleagues and I remain steadfast in our opposition to this tax on the family home, and we will not support an increase in the rate of Local Property Tax.
“Local Government needs to be funded properly, in a fair and equitable way for everyone, not by laying the burden on ordinary homeowners,” Cllr Gallagher said.