THE possibility of reducing or completely doing away with development levies in councils to facilitate construction of housing is being considered in the context of Budget 2016, according to the Government.
A spokesperson from the Department of Environment said this was just one of several proposals being considered for the budget, to be delivered on October 13. It was stressed that no decision has yet been made.
Should the proposal get the green light it is likely that the Government would compensate local authorities for lost revenue.
The potential move has been criticised by Cllr Daithi Doolan (SF) who said it was a shocking proposal which would be a huge blow to the city as the council budget relies heavily on revenue from development levies.
“[Environment] Minister [Alan] Kelly suggested development levies in Dublin City Council should be reduced to zero in order to stimulate building and development in Dublin.
“Development levies are one of the biggest sources of income we have in the city, and those levies are
used to provide services both to the development and to zoning communities in Dublin, it’s a very
essential income for the city,” he said.
He added that the council was exploring ways in which it could make the best use of development levy income.
“ He [Minister Kelly] is giving out to us for cutting the local property tax and on the other hand he’s telling us we should reduce our levies to nothing. When the developers come in they get sewerage, they get water, they get electricity, they get infrastructure, they get roads and we’re supposed to get no money from it?” he said.
The Department of Environment declined to comment saying: “Nothing has been decided on this at the moment. It is one of a number of suggestions to be considered in the context of the budget.”