Almost all residential properties are subject to the new so-called property tax enacted on 26th December last year. This will include the 125,000 local authority homes whose residents are exempt, sneaky-tax-style .
It seems that rents will be increased for council tenants, coincidentally, at the same time as the new property tax falls due. Bang! and the money’s gone.
Cllr Bríd Smith (Dublin South Central) claims there definitely will be rent increases. “The council is broke. Services have been cut to the bone as it is. If, say, the tax per house is put at a pretty modest €100 a year, well that’s a bill of €2.4 million for the council. There will be no option but to pass that on to tenants. It exposes any claim that this is a progressive tax as a sham, and any claim that it is a tax to fund local authorities as a sham too.”
So by first crippling the councils, the government then forces them to fund their own budgets through local taxation which is not stress tested and will in fact see burdens fall more heavily on poorer and more disadvantaged areas where council services are needed. The cycle of austerity and demise is copper-fastened at every new step.
Just this week Enda Kenny insisted that 65% of the takings from this ‘Property Tax’ which is in fact an unfairly levelled Home tax, will remain with the council collecting it – a change from previous statements and no doubt not worth the paper it’s written on either.