Longford homeowners face 8% increase in property tax

Householders in Longford face an 8 per cent increase in local property tax next year.

The rise was unanimously agreed yesterday at a meeting of Longford County Council, which will benefit by €126,000 as a result.

Councils are allowed to increase or decrease the tax by up to 15 per cent from the base rate each year, and 2017’s rate in Longford was 3 per cent below it.

At yesterday’s meeting, head of finance John McKeon said 94 per cent of Longford households pay less than €220 a year and, if the 3 per cent reduction was retained, they’d benefit by only about €4.20, but this would cost the council €63,000.

A 15 per cent increase would cost bill-payers an extra €21, but this would benefit the council by €315,000.

Ultimately, the councillors voted for a 5 per cent increase from the base rate, as proposed by Fianna Fáil councillor Seamus Butler.

This means people in Longford will pay 8 per cent more in property tax in 2018 than this year, which will cost up to €18 extra per household.

However, the council has insisted the €126,000 in funds that this measure will bring the council will be spent directly on the community.

Fianna Fáil councillor Ger Farrell supports the increase.