Friday, 16 July 2021
Finance (Local Property Tax) (Amendment) Bill 2021: Committee and Remaining Stages
Aisling Dolan (Fine Gael)
Following on from Senator Higgins's point, many of our towns and villages have vacant properties. However, many good schemes are also coming from the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage, such as the repair and lease initiative. It is important for us to understand that 100% of the revenue generated by this local property tax will go back to the local authorities. It will fund our services, including our parks, roads, footpaths and libraries. That is what this local property tax is for and some of our local authorities are in dire need of such funds to get some of these services across the line.
Regarding vacant properties, the repair and lease scheme and the Government's support for it has been very welcome. Hopefully, this is the type of measure that we will see continue to encourage owners of private properties to engage with local authorities and the repair and lease scheme to get those properties repaired, returned to the requisite specifications, leased out and brought back into use again to make our towns and villages come alive. We have a great shop enhancement scheme in Ballinasloe. It is an initiative under the auspices of the town and village renewal scheme overseen by the Minister for Rural and Community Development, Deputy Humphreys. We would love to see many more of those enhancement schemes, and painting is one example of what is undertaken, in towns and villages. Hopefully, such endeavours will encourage more people to take up properties.