Cllr. Sharon Tolan.
With an overwhelming majority at this year's Local Property Tax meeting in Navan, Fine Gael, Fianna Fáil and Independent Councillors voted to leave the LPT rate unchanged for this year.
Following a presentation by Director of Services and Head of Finance, Fiona Lawless, which heard her advise that any reduction in the rate would have a "catastrophic impact on services", local Fine Gael Councillor and party Whip, Sharon Tolan, proposed no change in the Local Property Tax rate. Sinn Féin and Independent Councillor Joe Bonner proposed to change the rate.
With the overwhelming majority of Councillors in Meath voting in favour of the unchanged rate, no further motions were proposed.
Speaking in the Council Chamber, Fine Gael Councillor Sharon Tolan said "Having received just 748 submissions from the public seeking a reduction, out of 67,700 properties, we could not justify impacting our services based on submissions from just 1.1% of the county's property owners. Every month we stand in the council chamber seeking additional services, additional staff, additional funding for projects in housing, footpaths, public lighting and community improvements. We could not risk reducing our budget by €2,623,470. As the Head of Finance said, it would have a catastrophic impact on services."
Tolan launched a scathing attack on Sinn Féin during her speech saying, "three years ago Sinn Féin made a promise here in this chamber to go through every item in the budget, looking for efficiencies.
“Here we are three years later and they still haven't come up with one! Sinn Féin has said here today that it is the executive’s job to bring in as much money as possible, but they're wrong! It is the executive's job to ensure that the people of this county receive the best possible service from Meath County Council."
County Meath has 74.4% of properties in bands 1-3, with properties valued from €0 to €200,000. A 15% reduction would equate to less than €1 per week per household.