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No Proper Appeal Mechanism In Relation To Local Property Tax.

We are informed that grounds for a method of appealing against Local Property Tax (LPT), by Irish householders, on the basis of dissatisfaction with local (in this case Tipperary Co. Council) Council services, does not relate to an established set of principles governing an Independent state, according to T.D. and Minister for Finance, Mr. Michael McGrath.
We now ask the question “Is this constitutional?”

On March 26th last, Thurles.Info wrote to the Minister for Finance, Mr. Michael McGrath T.D., regarding the unacceptable state of the road surface at Kickham Street, situated east of Thurles town centre. The failure to obtain any real communication, over a 3 year period, from Council officials, local elected Councillors, and our two resident Dáil politicians, resulted in our communication being directed to Minister McGrath.

Residents, having tolerated the state of the road surface, the flooding, etc. over a three year period, our question to the Minister was simple; “How can householders appeal against Local Property Tax (LPT), when their homes/property are being destroyed by the failure at local government to sort out issues.?”

Ms Niamh Kavanagh, (latter private secretary to the Minister for Finance) replied to our query as shown hereunder.

Readers: Do take note of links shown hereunder in Ms Kavanagh’s communication.

Dear Mr. Willoughby,

The Minister for Finance, Mr. Michael McGrath T.D., has asked me to acknowledge receipt of your email of March 14th, concerning your appeal against the payment of your Local Property Tax (LPT) and related complaint about (Tipperary) County Council.

The LPT was introduced in 2013 to provide a stable and sustainable funding base for local authorities and is a significant base-broadening measure. It is collected by Revenue, and the proceeds of LPT are subsequently transferred to the Local Government Fund which comes under the responsibility of the Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage. The funds are redistributed to local authorities in accordance with Government policies on funding allocations.

LPT along with other revenue streams is used to fund a broad range of services in the public realm. While this includes road maintenance and cleaning, it also includes fire and emergency services; street lighting; spatial and development planning and other similar services; regulatory and inspection functions and business support services, as well as libraries, parks, and other recreation and cultural public amenities.

The proper functioning of these services is important for the wellbeing of every community and household. The decisions on and implementation of these services are matters for each individual local authority and its councillors.

I understand that Tipperary County Council provide a reporting form for the notification of issues which require Council action, such as damaged roads. This form is available here: https://www.tipperarycoco.ie/roads-and-transport/damaged-road-and-footpath-reporting/make-fix-it-complaintor-log-issue.

LPT is payable in respect of all habitable residential properties, and there are no grounds for exemption on the basis of dissatisfaction with local services. However, I note the mention of your personal circumstances in your email. There exists an exemption from LPT for properties purchased, adapted or built for use by incapacitated persons. This exemption may be claimed where a resident of the property is permanently incapacitated to the extent, they cannot maintain themselves by earning an income through work and where their condition dictates the type of property they can live in. Further information on this exemption is available on Revenue’s website: https://www.revenue.ie/en/property/local-property-tax/lpt-exemptions/incapacitated-persons.aspx

Where no exemption is applicable in respect of a property, a property owner may opt to defer or partially defer payment of their LPT, where their income is below certain thresholds. A deferral is not an exemption, and the deferred LPT becomes payable at a later date and carries an interest charge of 3% per annum. Further information on LPT deferrals is available here: https://www.revenue.ie/en/property/local-property-tax/deferral-of-payment/index.aspx.

I hope this information is of assistance.
Yours sincerely,
Niamh Kavanagh, (Private Secretary to the Minister for Finance).

The reply from Minister McGrath was received on May 30th last, shortly after the road surface had been properly repaired.
We thank the Minister for his intervention.

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