A Government plan to make local authority tenants pay additional rent to meet the liability of councils for the Family Home Tax (â€˜Local Property Taxâ€™) is being opposed by Sinn FÃ©in Councillor Martin Browne.
Announcing a motion which he is bringing to next months council meeting, Cllr Browne revealed that he had learned that the Fine Gael/Labour Government is planning to legislate to add the tax to the rent of tenants.
In a statement to The Nationalist this week, he said that he and the Sinn Fein party are strongly opposed to the inequitable â€˜Family Home Tax.â€™
â€œThat it really is a Family Home Tax and not a Property Tax is proven by the plan to levy it on the rents of local authority tenants who do not own the council properties which are their homes. In most cases these are families and individuals on low or moderate incomes and they are to be further levied with this unjust tax.
â€œIn the current economic climate it is another burden on struggling families who are shown by recent reports to have less disposable income than ever before, as little as E50 a month after they pay bills.â€
Cllr Browne went on to say: â€œIn their budget proposals, Sinn Fein showed how this money could be raised by other means than a tax of this nature but the Government have ignored this and continue to attack the low and middle income earners who can least afford it.
â€œWe believe such a property tax on rents for properties which they do not own would be open to legal challenge.â€
Cllr Browne said he was responding to reports that the Fine Gael/Labour Government is planning to legislate to require local authorities to impose this tax on tenants.
Sinn FÃ©in councillors have tabled motions around the country asking county and town managers not to increase the rents of tenants on the basis of the Property Tax.
Cllr Browne will table the motion this week and have it debated at the next meeting of the Town Council where he will be urging all the councillors to support his partyâ€™s call not to increase rents in this situation.