Fears local property tax may be double for some

by Sylvia Pownall

Homeowners across Fingal could see their local property tax (LPT) bill almost double unless the system used to calculate the levy is urgently reformed.

Families could be hit with annual hikes of up to €300 because property prices have soared since the hugely unpopular LPT was introduced in 2013.

Based on the latest house price data from the Central Statistics Office,
this means bills for ‘average’ homeowners will rise by €270-495 a year – and even higher in some parts of the north county.

In Swords, homes which were valued at an average of €190,000 in 2013 and levied at €315 a year are now valued at €325,000, with an annual LPT bill of
€526 – a rise of €211.

Balbriggan properties which were valued at €144,000 six years ago (€225 LPT) are now worth an estimated €279,000 with the levy almost doubled at €445.

Dublin 15 has seen valuations rise from €169,000 to €319,000 with the property tax rising sharply from €315 to €497.

Since 2015, local authorities have been free to adjust the rate of the LPT – which was introduced to replace direct exchequer funding to local authorities – up or down by a maximum of 15%.

This year, Fingal voted not to give homeowners the maximum discount – the only Dublin council to do so, and for the second year running – opting for a 10% reduction.

Fianna Fail housing spokesman Darragh O’Brien has called on the Government to clarify what changes will be made and to publish the LPT review which is under way.

The Fingal TD said: “There has been an inexplicable delay in completing this review and establishing proposals around the future of the tax itself.

“This uncertainty is causing major stress for both homeowners and local authorities. Families in parts of Dublin are especially anxious, given the rapid rise in property price in those areas since this tax was first introduced six years ago.”

If calculated using ‘average’ selling prices for homes the existing system will see few areas enjoy a reduction. The sharpest drop has been in Rush, where bills would fall from €675 to €445.

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