Property tax cut to be next big talking point for council

Sam Matthews

Reporter:

Sam Matthews

The newly elected County Council with Cathaoirligh Pat Millea and County Manager Joe Crockett at County Hall last Friday.
The issue of whether or not Kilkenny’s rate of Local Property Tax (LPT) should be adjusted looks set to be the next major talking point for the county council.

The issue of whether or not Kilkenny’s rate of Local Property Tax (LPT) should be adjusted looks set to be the next major talking point for the county council.

The local authority is currently seeking the public’s input on the matter, which needs to be resolved in the coming weeks if there is to be a change. The LPT will be able to be increased or reduced by anything up to 15%, or maintained at the basic rate.

Kilkenny County Council is now seeking written submissions from the public on the potential effects of varying the basic rate of the LPT on businesses, individuals, and local authority services. Recently, a number of councils around Ireland have decided to reduce their rate.

A number of recently-elected councillors, in the run-up to May’s local elections, vowed they would attempt to reduce the LPT by 15%. Fine Gael’s local election manifesto also gave a committment on the issue.

“Fine Gael councillors will not increase the LPT rate and will reduce the LPT rate where possible taking into account local county needs. We will ensure that no council will be worse off following these reforms,” it said.

However, in his inaugural speech as cathaoirleach of the new county council, Cllr Pat Millea, said the members would have to take into account the impact such a cut might have on services.

“We are in a time where people and businesses are under huge pressure and financial strain,” he said.

“Public representatives must acknowledge these pressures. Therefore, I have insisted on a review and full examination of the council’s funding to determine if, within the limited scope provided in the legislation, a reduction in the Local Property Tax of 15% can be achieved, while also considering the potential impact this may have on council services.”

In his inaugural speech as Mayor of Kilkenny, Cllr Andrew McGuinness said he supported the cathaoirleach’s call for the county council to reduce the property tax by 15% ‘as soon as possible’.

Kilkenny County Council will now meet in September to consider the setting of the ‘local adjustment factor’. The matter must be decided, and a letter sent to the Minister for Environment, Community and Local Government before the end of September in the year in which the resolution is passed.

Public submissions must be received by Monday, August 11 of this year. They can be sent to: Head of Finance, Kilkenny County Council, County Hall, John Street, Kilkenny or financegroup@kilkennycoco.ie.

A report summarising the written submissions received will be prepared by councils.