Local property tax will remain unchanged in county Cork in 2022.

LPT unchanged in the county

Local Property Tax (LPT) will remain unchanged in county Cork in 2022 following a vote by elected members at County Hall this week.

Last September, councillors voted to increase the basic rate of LPT by 7.5 per cent which will now remain unchanged until November 2022.

There will, however, be notable changes to the LPT assessment bands which determine how much a homeowner owes based on the value of their house.

On 2 June, Minister for Finance, Paschal Donohoe published the Heads of the Finance (Local Property Tax) (Amendment) Bill 2021.

The bill will result in many Cork homeowners seeing no change or even a decrease in their LPT payments next year.

The decision to remain at 7.5 per cent, which was proposed by newly-elected County Mayor Cllr Gillian Coughlan, will mean there will be no extra revenue gained by Cork County Council in 2022.

“There will be a deficit and Cork County Council has had to dig into its reserve, nonetheless, people in the county have had a very difficult year and many incomes have been slashed,” she said.

The mayor’s proposal was seconded by Independent Cllr Declan Hurley who said it was “probably the fairest” option but that it isn’t going to “dig us out of a hole” as we approach the budget.

This year being a revaluation year, the decision had to be made before 1 August, significantly earlier than last year’s decision.

As was the case last year, 80 per cent of the revenue collected from the LPT in 2022 will be retained by county Cork.

The remaining 20 per cent will be paid to an equalisation fund to be re-distributed to other local authorities around the country to ensure that all authorities receive an amount equivalent to their LPT baseline.

The council’s LPT allocation for 2022 is just over €25.5 million, representing 80 per cent of the expected LPT income to be collected in 2022.

Of this allocation, almost €15 million is to be made available for discretionary purposes with the remaining €10,744,777 to be used to self-fund housing and road services.

Although the mayor’s proposal was voted through with a resounding 47 in favour, while one councillor abstained, and one voted against, the comments that followed from a number councillors suggested significant inter-party tension surrounding LPT.

“The realities are that Fianna Fáil are in allegiance with the Independents and Labour and are running this council,” said Fine Gael Cllr John Paul O’Shea.

He added: “We had the same thing last year and it was a total mess, so I just want to remind councillors of their obligations.”