Sinn Féin Cllr Imelda Munster has called on Louth County Council to engage fully with the public by holding a series of public meetings throughout the county as part of the consultation process on the Local Property Tax.
Cllr Munster said, “There is a real need to engage with the public and not to just abide by the Minister for the Environment’s nonsensical directive seeking only the public’s opinion on “Potential impact on adjustments”. Instead the public consultation process should declare its intention to begin the process of reducing by the maximum possible level, the rate of Local Property Tax payable by households. The public consultation, which began in mid July, ends on August 16th. I would urge as many people as possible to make submissions”.
Cllr Munster stated that despite the fact that people have been forced to pay this tax on their homes, not one cent has come back into the county to fund local services in 2014 despite being told otherwise. Instead, the money collected was handed over to set up Irish Water, which in turn will also tax householders for the supply of water service in January. In 2015 Louth will only get 80% of the Local Property Tax back to fund services and many people are now questioning exactly what services we get, if any. We are already paying road tax, bin charges, toll charges, A&E charges, emergency services (fire brigade) call out charges, Universal Social Charges, PAYE, PRSI, LPT, and the forthcoming water charges. Families are at breaking point financially and can simply take no more when getting so little in return. It is time that public consultation by local authorities amounted to more than placing a small advertisement in a local paper; it should also include a series of local public meetings.”