No change to Cork city Property Tax payments

No change to Cork city Property Tax payments

CORK residents will see no change in their property tax payments in 2018.

Councillors in City Hall last night voted 16 to 10 to retain the LPT at its base level rate.

The charge, which resets each year, can be varied by as much as 15% up or down. It is a crucial income stream for local authorities, and will now generate just short of €12 million for the provision of services in Cork city in the 2018 budget.

A short meeting at City Hall saw Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael and Independent councillors vote to make no change to the charge. Members of Sinn Féin, Solidarity and the Workers' Party had sought to vary the tax, calling for a 15% decrease.

This stance was criticised by members of Fianna Fáil and the Independents group, with Fianna Fáil councillor Seán Martin describing it as 'extraordinary' that councillors would vote to cut the Council's income and then call for increased services.

The meeting was addressed by City Council CEO Ann Doherty, who said that the 2018 budget has been prepared on the basis that no changes would be made to the LPT rate.

Ms Doherty said that the City Council's income streams remain under pressure, causing an issue with service provision in the city.

"The general economic climate and state of the national finances continue to impact on the City Council," she said.

"Many of our income sources continue to be under pressure, while increased demand for services in many areas increases the challenge of maintaining the City Council's finances in order."

Cork's population increase 'brings challenges in terms of provision of services and infrastructure', Ms Doherty added.

Had councillors opted to cut the rate by 15%, it would have resulted in a net loss of €1.665 million from the cash-strapped council's finances. The result would have been further cuts to services in 2018.

By making no change to the charge, Cork City Council will recoup a total of €11,927,400 through LPT in 2018, money which councillors say will be used to provide essential services.

Last year, the city opted not to renew a 10% cut to the LPT rate, a move which generated some €777,000 for the city's coffers.

This money was ring-fenced for housing, community, roads, transport, environment and recreation, with €400,000 spent on housing maintenance.

Some €200,000 was spent on road resurfacing, while €177,000 was spent on playground upgrades, design and tree works in the city.

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