Tipperary householders will not be receiving a reduction in their property tax payment next year.
On Monday Tipperary County Council members voted twenty nine to ten against a 15% Local Property Tax reduction. The ten who voted for the reduction consisted of an independent member, five Sinn Fein members, three Lowry group members and the one Workers and Unemployed Action Group member.
On the same day local authorities in Dublin approved of a 15% cut in the property tax and Cork voted for a 10% cut.
Tipperary members were told that a 15% reduction in the county would only benefit householders by 58 cent a week and would involve essential services such as housing and road maintenance taking a hit.
County Council chairman Michael Fitzgerald stood over the decision and said it was the responsible thing to do.
“It was a no-brainer. We are being heavily subsidised by other councils to the tune of €13m. We would have had to cut €1.8m in services to bring in such a reduction in the property tax and essential services, which are already cut to the bone, would have to be cut again,” he said.
Cllr. Fitzgerald said members had a duty to protect those services and he did not want to see any further cutback in crucial services such as the roads, housing and the libraries.
Cllr. Pat English, who was one of the ten to vote for a reduction, said it was unfair on householders in Tipperary that householders in Dublin and Cork would receive a 15% cut in their property tax payments next year.
“It was a very disappointing outcome, especially as some councillors who promised cuts in the property tax when they were going for election, voted against reducing the charge when they had the opportunity to do so,” said Cllr. English.
The County Council decision was welcomed by Clonmel Chamber of Commerce. The Chamber had publicly stated in recent weeks that they feared that such a reduction would lead to an increase in commercial rates.