A LIMERICK local election candidate has warned that householders are in the dark about a clause which would allow the local authority increase property tax by 15 per cent.
Fianna Fáil candidate, Jim Hickey, said that while more than 1.2 million householders have paid their property tax, “most cannot afford to because of unemployment, austerity charges, indirect taxation and welfare cuts.”
Householders budgeting for the next three years do so on the basis the charge will remain the same until 2016 Mr Hickey said, “except it might not stay the same. Buried deep within legislation is a provision for Local Authorities to increase the property tax by 15 per cent. They can do that by the end of 2014.They can also reduce it by 15 per cent, but that will never happen”.
The candidate said that legislation enacted in 2012 “sets in stone the Government’s entitlement to increase a tax the people simply cannot afford. Yet the booklet every householder in Ireland received by post suggests otherwise”.
“It reads: ‘The market value of your property on the 1st May 2013 will form the basis for calculating the property tax for 2013, 2014, 2015, and 2016.’ Ordinary people assume their property tax will remain the same until 2016”.
He said that the Government “is banking on the fact the majority of ordinary people reading this booklet do not understand it. This is an underhand clause, typical of the Government that framed and legislated for it”.