Council tenants will not have to pay the property tax in the New Year.
Newspaper reports today say despite all council houses being placed in the lowest tax band of just €90 a year, the tax won’t be passed on to tenants through higher rents.
Local authorities didn’t have to pay the property tax this year but do have to pay it in 2014 and were supposed to pass on the cost.
However, with local elections looming next May they aren’t going to pass on those costs for 2014.
The cost nationally of this decision is €17m, with 130,000 council houses escaping a property tax bill for €45 this year and €90 next year.
Councils will now pay the tax out of their own budgets and may even have to reduce services to find the extra cash to pay the bill.