Residents of the Rockview estate in Portlaoise have been left shocked and confused at their exclustion from the lists of estates exempt from paying the Local Property Tax.
Rockview was one of 17 estates in County Laois exempt from paying the Household Charge, when it was introduced last year. But on the list of exemptions for the new tax, just eight estates remain on the list, which was published by the Department of the Environment last year.
“I assumed that we would be on the list, nothing has changed here, we still have no road. I wonder if the list is wrong,” one resident said.
“We are living on a bilding site still, I didn’t realise we had been left off the list. Nothing has improved here, nothing is even being maintained, so if anything things have disimproved since we moved in here five years ago.”
The developer of the estate is in receivership and the residents have been liasing with the council through Councillor Jerry Lodge to see what could be done with the estate once the bond is secured.
“It’s just getting more embarrassing as time goes on. There is fencing falling down and raised manholes, it’s getting unsightly now.”
Cllr Jerry Lodge described the decision to impose a property tax on Rockview as “a money grabbing exercise by the Government.” He said not one euro had been spent on the estate in the last year.
“The decision to impose a property tax on Rockview is inequitable and grossly unfair. The residents here have spent years endeavouring to have the estate completed, and along with myself have met with the local authority here on many occassions and up to now it has been an extremely slow process.
“Since last year when the estate was excluded from the household charge not one euro has been spent here yet the Government in it’s ‘wisdom’ has issued the ultimatum that the residents must pay. It makes no sense whatsoever but can be seen clearly as a money grabbing exercise by a Government Department, totally out of touch with the reality on the ground here.” Cllr Lodge continued: “Residents can’t believe this decision and rightly are very angry. This is a grave injustice being perpetrated on each householder in Rockview and we should unequivocally give them whatever support we can to now get the estate completed this year. No thanks to the Minister.”
Carmel McNicholl, Senior Executive Officer, Planning & Economic Development. said the the reductions in the list of properties eligible for an exemption on the Local Property Tax compared to the Household Charge reflects progress made in tackling unfinished housing development.
“The reductions in the list of properties eligible for an exemption on the Local Property Tax compared to the Household Charge reflects progress made in tackling unfinished housing developments as well as a more objective and refined approach to identification of relevant housing developments applied to the 2012 National Housing Development Survey as well as, in some cases, further progress made since the 2012 Survey was concluded.
“Certain estates in County Laois which may have previously received a waiver of the Household Charge, do not meet the eligibility criteria for a waiver of the Local Property Tax. Substantial works have been carried out in other estates in County Laois with the result that they do not now meet the criteria , and one estate has since been taken in charge by the Council. Dwellings within 8 estates in County Laois were deemed eligible for exemption from Local Property Tax.”
The eight estates elgible for the exemption are: Ballymorris Court, and a development on Bracklone Street, both in Portarlington; Bruach na hAbhainn and Kileen Gardens in Maganey; Cluinin, Mountrath; Dromnin, Stradbally and Glenall and Kyle Manor, both in Borris-in-Ossory.