Sinn Féin Councillor Conor D. McGuinness was the only West Waterford political representative to vote against a 10% increase in the LPT. Sinn Féin had instead proposed a 10% reduction in LPT for Waterford homeowners. The vote took placee at the July meeting of Waterford City and County Council, and comes ahead of a re-valuation of homes, which will undoubtedly take into account the dramatic increase in house prices over recent years.
“Fine Gael, Fianna Fail, Green Party, Labour and some Independent members of Waterford City and County Council have voted to maintain the 10% increase in the Local Property Tax that was introduced last year.
“Sinn Féin proposed a decrease of 10% to give homeowners in Waterford a break.
“The decision of the establishment parties stands in start contrast to the vote in the Dáil last week which saw the Government parties continue to give multi-million euro tax breaks to investment funds so that they can snap up entire housing developments and lease them back to local authorities.
“The LPT is a tax on the family home – its unfair, regressive and penalises people for owning their home. It heaps more expense on top of families that are balancing mortgage payments, with increasing utility prices, and a general increase in the cost of living.
“Government needs to recognise and value local government – they need to stop neglecting local services. The first step is to provide adequate funding to Councils, funded from the exchequer i.e. from the income taxes, USC, VAT on essential items, stamp duty, and all the other charges, levies and taxes that workers and families pay.
“Our Council is perpetually starved of resources by Government. We are still many millions away from achieving pre-recession levels of funding, and services are suffering. Government would rather put their hands in working peoples pockets than address the tax breaks, loopholes and sweetheart deals that mean our public services are consistently underfunded.
“Sinn Féin in Government will get rid of the LPT and ensure that councils are funded sustainably from the exchequer to ensure delivery of public services at local level.”
* Independent Councillors Séamus Ó Donnell, Mary Roche, Joe Kelly and Joe Conway voted for the 10% increase. All other Independents voted against.
* Fianna Fáil Councillors Adam Wyse and Eddie Mulligan voted against the increase, as did Labour Councillor Séamus Ryan. All other Fianna Fáil and Labour councillors voted for a 10% increase.
*All Fine Gael and Green Party councillors voted for a 10% increase.