Fianna Fail and Fine Gael refuse to reduce tax on Sligo family homes

Sligo tax now one of the highest in the State

Sligo News File Online.

Yet again Fianna Fail and Fine Gael members of Sligo County Council have stood shoulder to shoulder to strike one of the
highest rates of property tax in the entire country.

While many local councils are slashing the brutal levy on people’s homes, 11 members of the Sligo council voted to oblige householders who elected them to the body to suffer the unremitting burden of the massive tax on their homes

Fianna Fail member Rosaleen O’Grady has tried to justify the decision to reject a cut in the rate proposed and pressed for by Cllrs. Declan Bree (Independent) Thomas Healy (Sinn Fein) and Gino O’Boyle (People Before Profit). They had sought a reduction of 15% in the charge. Defending Fianna Fail’s decision to retain the rate at among the topmost in the state, O’Grady said they would have loved to be able to reduce the tax but were not in a position to do so
as it would affect the provision of council services.

This is the second year in a row that Fianna Fail and Fine Gael have united to keep the tax at its current appallingly high level, last year the excuse they offered for doing so was much the same as that trotted out today.

One of those present, and reported to have also supported the retention of the present tax rate, was Eamon Scanlon, a Fianna
Fail candidate in the forthcoming general election.

The decision to reject the proposed reduction in the property tax burden on local families was also reportedly supported by
Independent Councillor, Marie Casserley. She, too, is a declared general election candidate campaigning for a seat in the Dail.

Sean MacManus (Sinn Fein) and Fianna Fail’s Martin Baker and Paul Taylor were absent from the meeting.

Michael Clarke, the West Sligo-based Independent councillor abstained when the vote was taken. Many will wonder why, seeing
the impact the tax is having on local householders.

Today’s decision leaves families in Sligo now saddled with yearly taxes or charges amounting to €3,000 or more. They include the property tax, waste collection charges, water charges, carbon levies on domestic commodities, including coal, gas, electricity, diesel, petrol, levies on home and car insurance and much, much more.

Councillors receive a raft of payments for their part-time work – representational allowances, expenses, payments for service on
committees, attendance at conferences, workshops, and so on. A number of Councillors are full-time salaried employees, some
are owners of businesses, landholdings and other operations. Very few are engaged in council-connected work on full-time basis.

Going by the support for the property tax shown by Sligo councillors today, it is hard not to imagine that the tax will be retained and possibly substantially increased if either Fine Gael or Fianna Fail form the next government. The tax on family homes was initially included in the Memorandum of Understanding agreed between the previous Fianna Fail-led government and the Troika, and later rolled
out by the present Fine Gael-Labour Coalition