Laois Local Property Tax rate to stay the same for 2021
The amount of money paid by 29,500 Laois homeowners liable for Local Property Tax will stay at the existing rate for 2021, Laois county councillors have agreed.
Councillors met on Friday September 4 to decide on next year's rate of the property tax which helps fund local services like parks, leisure centres, road maintenance and town and village improvements.
The stark financial uncertainty faced by Laois County Council for the rest of 2020 and for 2021, was made clear at a special meeting to decide the new Local Property Tax rate.
A 2021 budget was revealed with a spend of €79 million. However the CEO John Mulholland said there is no certainty if it can be completed.
"We don't know for sure, no-one can tell the financial situation for the rest of 2020 and 2021. We expect a lot of red ink applied to that. All we can do is try to keep the ship nice and steady for next year," he said.
"In the 120 years of local government this is probably the most uncertain time as regards financial planning and provision of public services," the CEO later told the Leinster Express.
Council management had advised no change to the tax, either up or down (councillors can chose to raise or lower the tax by up to 15% each year) and the councillors agreed. It was proposed by Cllr John Joe Fennelly and seconded by Cllr James Kelly to have the tax remain at its current rate.
Councillors had voted to increase the tax by 5% in 2020 which gathered an extra €492,000 from homeowners.
The tax brings in €5 million in Laois. After 'equalisation funding' is spread out among all local authorities big and small by Government, Laois ends up with €9.5 million to spend on services and projects.
Here is what Laois homeowners will pay again in 2021:
12,774 houses valued at under €100,000 (43.3% of homes in Laois) €99
12,240 houses valued between €100,001 and €150,000 (42.1%) €225
3,038 houses valued between €150,001 and €200,000 (10.3% of homes) €346.50
737 houses valued between €200,001 and €250,000 (2.5% of homes) €445.50
266 houses valued between €250,001 and €300,000 (0.9% of homes) €544.50
265 houses worth over €300,000 (0.9%) €643.50
Occupiers of Local Authority houses (about 2,300 homes in Laois) do not pay LPT, the local authority as landlord pays it. Laois County Council paid €234,554 - effectively to itself - in 2019.