As with all taxation matters, responsibility for Local Property Tax (LPT), including the structure and basic rate of the tax, rests with the Minister for Finance. Notwithstanding that, as LPT replaced general purpose funding to local authorities in 2015, I am responsible for LPT allocations to local authorities.
I can confirm that the LPT allocation process for 2021 is unchanged from recent years and that my Department has recently informed local authorities of their pre-variation LPT allocations for 2021, based on collection data provided by the Revenue Commissioners. This will ensure that local authority members, in line with their statutory responsibilities, can make informed decisions on LPT variation by the end of September deadline.
The Programme for Government – Our Shared Future, sets out a range of actions that relate to local authority funding. The Programme commits to bringing forward legislation for the LPT on the basis of fairness and that most homeowners will face no increase. It also states that those counties with a lower LPT base will be adjusted via an annual national equalisation fund paid from the Exchequer.
Notwithstanding the particular challenges that individual authorities may face, all local authorities are experiencing financial challenges as a result of Covid-19. In order to support the local government sector generally, my Department continues to keep local authority income, expenditure and cash flow under review and will continue to work with all local authorities both collectively and individually, on issues arising.