Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council (DLRCoCo) has today launched a public consultation on the local property tax (LPT) payable in the county in 2015.
Under article 7 of the Local Property Tax (Local Adjustment Factor) Regulations 2014 (SI 296/2014)*, the Council is obliged to “consult with the public in its administrative area in relation to its consideration of the setting of a local adjustment factor”. The local adjustment factor allows councillors in DLRCoCo to vary the rate at which the LPT is charged by up to 15% (either up or down).
I am committed to reducing the LPT we pay in DLR and Blackrock by the maximum 15% and this forms part of the Fine Gael programme on DLRCoCo. As a member of the Corporate Policy Group (CPG) of DLRCoCo, the body that prepares the draft DLRCoCo budget, I have already make the Council Executive aware that this must be a priority, and I am supported in this regard by my Fine Gael and Council colleagues. IN that regard, I am delighted that Government and the Departments of Finance and Local Government have reiterated and confirmed that 80% of the LPT collected in DLR will return to DLR.
In DLR, we had the highest rate of compliance with the LPT in 2014, at over 92%. Given that we also have some of the most valuable property in the country, that means that we collect more LPT than any other local authority, except Dublin City Council. Even allowing for cuts from central government in other grants that are currently being given to DLRCoCo, we should be in a position to reduce the LPT in DLR by the maximum 15% without affecting services or increasing commercial rates, and ideally in tandem with a reduction in commercial rates.
This process is the first opportunity that councillors have had to re-balance the LPT nationally: where DLRCoCo should be in a position to reduce the payable LPT for its residents, other (mostly rural) counties and local authorities will likely have to increase the LPT payable in their areas. This will narrow the gap between the LPT rates payable in urban and rural areas respectively.
A 30-days period of public consultation has therefore begun and will be open for submissions until the 18th of August. You can make your view known by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org or writing to Helena Cunningham, Director of Finance, DLRCoCo, Marine Road, Dún Laoghaire, Co. Dublin.
Councillors will vote to decide the rate as part of the DLRCoCo Annual Budget Process, which will begin in September, and the Department of Local Government has informed the Council the Revenue Commissioners must be notified of any intention to vary the rate and how, by the 30th of September, so the LPT scheme and rates for 2015 can be in place by the 1st of November 2014.
* The Regulations were made under by the then Minister, Phil Hogan TD, under section 20(6) of the Finance (Local Property Tax) Act 2012 (No. 52 of 2012) on the 30th of June 2014.
More details from the DLRCoCo web site.