Echo Letters: Story behind the vote to reform Local Property Tax

Dear Editor,

The report in last week’s Echo of Mayor Guss O’Connell’s motion calling on the government to reform the Local Property Tax was, I believe, lopsided.

The vote result was, as the report noted, 14 in support, 3 opposed, and 13 abstentions – on the face of it, an odd outcome. The following outline of the business preceding the vote may assist understanding.

Houses aerial

On reading the Mayor’s motion, People Before Profit proposed an amendment calling for repeal of the LPT and its replacement with funds coming from central government via progressive taxation. Specifically, we sought the creation of a Financial Transaction Tax, i.e. a tax on speculation, a Wealth Tax on those with assets valued above a million euro, and the strict implementation of the 12½ per cent Corporation Tax rate. In accordance with procedure the amendment was taken first.

People Before Profit believes that taxing hard-pressed householders to finance local government is unfair, regressive and will not yield sufficient funds to meet the needs of our citizens.

As things stand in Ireland, the policy when raising revenue is never, ever, to lay hands on the wealth of the elite.

They must be allowed to go on their way completely untroubled by such mundane a matter as paying their whack. Instead, Joe and Joan Ordinary must always foot the bill. The mayor’s motion went some way in acknowledging this, and People Before Profit accepts this, but it did not strike at the root, hence our amendment.

In the event, the amendment was lost by a small margin.

This explains Mayor O’Connell’s 13 abstentions. Having voted to repeal they were hardly going to vote for a modest reform.

Yours sincerely,

Cllr. Nicky Coules,

People Before Profit,
County Hall,

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