Friday, 25 October 2013

Hogans €50m raid of Dublin Property Tax

In March 2013 Minister Hogan told homeowners that 80% of their property tax would be used to provide them with local services. Now the Minister has done a complete U-Turn and decided that he will hold onto 100% of the Local Property Tax in 2014. He has made a vague statement that “a proportion” of the Local Property Tax will be used to fund local services in 2015. He has not said how big or small a proportion, just a %. To add further insult it appears Minister Hogan is going to use the Local Property Tax to pay for his crazy plan to create Irish Water so that they can install meters so he can hit us with a new charge for water. So basically he lied to get us to pay the Local Property Tax so that he can use the money to charge us water taxes.  Who can believe him when he says a % of the LPT will be used for local services in 2015??

Minister Hogan has announced that in 2014 he will not allow local authorities use 80% of the Local Property Tax collected in their area to fund local services as he previously promised. He has announced that he will instead keep the more than €150million in property tax collected in Dublin to fund his crazy Irish Water scheme.

On March 12th 2013 Minister Hogan said the Government “has accepted, in principle, a policy position that from next year 80% of all Local Property Tax (LPT) receipts should be retained with the local authority areas where the properties are based and that these receipts should be utilised by those authorities in their local budgets. This will assist in the funding of new services such as the establishments of Local Enterprise Offices and other labour activation measures that will help create jobs.”

On October 16th 2013 Minister Hogan said: “Retention of a proportion of local property tax receipts at source will now commence from 2015 onwards.”

Minister Hogan is putting his hands into the pockets of Dublin homeowners and extracting €50million for his own crazy pet project to privatize water services in a secret deal through the creation of Irish Water. Homeowners in Dublin are extremely annoyed by this underhand move by the Minister particularly given that there has been an average 90% compliance rate for the property tax across Dublin. (see table below).

Dubliner homeowners paid €80m in property tax this year and will pay over €160m next year. People signed up to the property largely in good faith. Many people took Minister Hogan at his word that 80% of the taxes raised locally would be spent locally and their elected representatives would have a say in how that money is spent in communities across the city. This amounts to a disgraceful betrayal by a Minister who seems intent on consistently centralising power and increasing his control over local authorities.

The Minister needs to keep his commitments to the homeowners of Dublin and allow the Local Property Tax to be spent on local services.   Mary