County Council told they can’t retain 100% of LPT

County Council told they can’t retain 100% of LPT
County Hall asked that all property taxes collected in Cork would stay in the county. Pic Denis Scannell

THE Department of Housing has said it cannot allow Cork County Council to retain 100% of the Local Property Tax (LPT) it collects.

The Deputy Mayor of Cork County, Mary Linehan Foley, last month called for all LPT collected in Cork to stay in the county.

Ms Linehan Foley submitted a motion to Cork County Council asking that the local authority request that LPT collected in particular areas be kept to enhance communities in towns and villages.

Currently, 20% of all LPT collected is paid into a Government equalisation fund which is then redistributed to other local authorities so they receive a baseline minimum amount.

Ms Foley argued that the Council is not receiving enough from Government funds to maintain roads and communities.

Cork County Council is projected to bring in €40.8m in LPT in 2018 but only €32m will be retained locally with approximately €8.1m being taken by the Government.

A spokesperson for the Department of Housing said it does not have the power to alter the LPT retention rate for local authorities but the Department of Public Expenditure is currently finalising a review of LPT.

“LPT allocations for 2019, as in previous years, have been determined in accordance with Government policy. According, as this matter was subject to Government approval... the Minister is not in a position to vary this policy in respect of any local authority at the current time,” the spokesperson added.

The spokesperson added that the local authority has the power to vary the LPT rate collected in the county by up to 15% and would retain 100% of an increased additional or forgo 100% of a reduced income.

In September, County Hall voted to retain the level of LPT for 2019 after councillors voted against a 15% reduction tabled by Sinn Féin.

County Council income would have been reduced by over €6m next year if the Sinn Féin motion had been carried.

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