Hike in local property tax in Laois: What will you be paying?

Laois homeowners set to pay an extra 10 percent next year to cover bigger council budget

Lynda Kiernan

Reporter:

Lynda Kiernan

Email:

lynda.kiernan@leinsterexpress.ie

Laois homeowners will pay an extra 10 percent in Local Property Tax from 2018, after councillors vote for the increase

Laois homeowners will pay an extra 10 percent in Local Property Tax from 2018, after councillors vote for the increase

The breakdown of each Local Property Tax Band for Laois homeowners.

Laois homeowners are set to pay extra on their Local Property Tax from next year, after councillors voted last Monday September 11 for a 10% hike.

The rise is expected to raise nearly €490,000 for council coffers.

It will go towards rising costs including legal fees, community developments, repairs to leisure centres and homelessness, and other costs including staff pay rises.

Out of the 29,000 Laois homeowners liable for the tax, 12,122 of them live in houses worth up to €100,000, and will pay an extra €9 a year, rising to €99.

Another 11,977 owners of houses worth between €100,000 and €150,000 will now incur an LPT of €247.50, up from €225.

A further 3,393 homeowners in houses worth between €150,000 and €200,000 will pay €346.50 a year, up from €315.

The 870 owning Laois houses worth between €200,000 and €250,000 will now pay €445.50 a year, up from €405.

There are 290 homes valued between €250,000 and €300,000. Owners there will pay an extra €49.50, totalling €544.50 a year.

Another 290 homes are valued at between €300,000 and €350,000, incurring a tax of €643.50, up by €58.50.

There are no houses listed at a higher value in Laois.

People renting local authority houses do not have to pay the tax. Instead Laois County Council as the homeowner, pays the bill, to total €200,000 next year.

Recommending the increase, Chief Executive John Mulholland said the council has to manage services for the growing Laois population, now up to more then 85,000 people.

“This is the fourth year of the tax. We have had no increase in previous years. If we do not get the €492,00 we will have a difficult job making ends meet and there would be cutbacks,” he said.

He committed to freezing the commercial rate at the current rate if councillors agreed to the local property tax increase.

He also committed to freeing up the €131k set aside for County Development Plan legal cases, if those cases did not go ahead, for the county councillors to decide on how it was spent.

Fianna Fáil Cllr Jerry Lodge proposed the tax rise.

“Along with my colleagues, we have come onside of granting this increase. It means €9 per year for the majority of households, I don't honestly think people will see this as significant. People expect more in tourism and development but if we don't get the money we can't perform to a level expected,” he said.

He was supported by Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael councillors, namely Cllrs John King, Willie Aird, Paddy Bracken, John Joe Fennelly, Padraig Fleming, Seamus McDonald, Paschal McEvoy, Tom Mulhall and Mary Sweeney.

Sinn Féin Cllr Aidan Mullins led the vote against the increase, backed by non party members Cllrs Brendan Phelan, Ben Brennan and James Kelly.

“The majority of that €492k will not be available. You are looking for an increase to pay legal fees, its not as if you can spend it on the homeless,” said Cllr Mullins.

Absent were Cllrs Caroline Dwane, David Goodwin, John Moran and Noel Tuohy.