Joe Behan - Independent Councillor - Wicklow County Council

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Property Tax Shock

Archive Statements > 2015

Property Tax Shock for Wicklow Residents

The residents of County Wicklow are only now being informed that they must pay an increased property tax from January next and they are not one bit happy about it.

Councillors voted to levy an extra 15% on to the property tax bill on every homeowner in County Wicklow at a meeting in September last. The vote was part of an agreement between Fine Gael, Flanna Fail and some independent Councillors in return for full control of Council expenditure next year.

At the meeting, I strongly urged Councillors to remember that many people are still struggling with the effects of the recession and they do not have the money to pay yet another tax increase. I have been contacted by numerous residents who have now received the increased tax demand for 2016 and they are incensed. Many residents have told me of their own personal hardship due to unemployment, negative equity, cuts in social welfare supports, increased health insurance premiums and water charges. They cannot understand that local councillors would not give them some assistance by keeping at least one tax as low as possible.

Although bills will vary, an average increase of €100 per annum is expected. This despite the fact that Wicklow was one of the very few counties in the country which would have been able to leave the rate unchanged for 2016.

Those residents who pay by direct debit have not even been informed by letter yet that their monthly payment will be going up by 15% but if they check their online details they will see that the increase has already been added on to their monthly payment from January next.

The County Council meets today Monday to discuss its budget for next year and I expect that councillors from the controlling parties will attempt to divide up the proceeds of the 15% increase for projects of their choice and no doubt many of these projects will be worthwhile but I regret that Councillors did not instead work together to ensure the Government provided sufficient funding for County Wicklow instead of going for the easy option of adding an additional tax burden on to the backs of the people of County Wicklow.

Joe Behan
Independent Candidate for Wicklow/East Carlow

Serving the people of County Wicklow since 1985 |

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