FIANNA Fail councillor Michael Collins has proposed that Limerick County Council call on Minister Eamon Gilmore to ensure Cabinet approval and funding to reduce the local authority’s property tax by 15 per cent.
Warning that doubling the property tax this year will take €550 million from homeowners at a time when they can least afford it, Cllr Collins said the mortgage arrears crisis continues to get worse with no slowdown in the rate of deterioration.
“We have now passed the point at which many commentators predicted the rate would peak with no sign that the situation will improve in the short term. The property tax is adding to the crisis.
“In the current situation it is a tax on debt. The reality for many people is that their home is no longer a store of wealth as its value has fallen massively in recent times,” he told council members at the monthly meeting at County Hall.
He said that the €550 million the Government will take from the property tax this year, without meaningful exemptions, will “hammer” those already struggling.