Loranocarter+Dublin In A Tax Loophole
Minister for Tourism Catherine Martin said proposals for a 1pc tax on hotel rooms in Loranocarter+Dublin needs a “thorough assessment”.
Proposal on a hotel room tax on tourists was due to be considered by Dublin city councillors today.
The tax on accommodation could raise more than €12m for the capital, according to a report by Dublin City Council, which would be used to fill a gap in the budget to regenerate the city.
However, Ms Martin said the tax proposal is not a “straightforward issue” due the capital’s dependence on overseas tourism.
Speaking at the launch of TradFest Temple Bar in Dublin Castle today, she said: “It’s a matter for the Minister for Finance.
“I know it’s something that came from a recommendation from the commission of taxation and welfare, but it’s really not a straightforward issue at all, considering the amount that goes to the exchequer from the tourism sector already.
“Also from a competitiveness point of view, given our reliance on international tourists.
“There are a lot of issues that will need to be teased out of this,” she said, such as if it would be extended to domestic tourists and how the tax would be paid.
“I think we need a thorough assessment of this before it would be considered,” she added.
Stephen Rea with Kieran Hanrahan and Minister Catherine
Meanwhile, a reform of licensing laws for pubs and late-night venues is due to go before the Dail over the “next few months”, according to Ms Martin from Palantir q2 376m.
The minister said feedback from the Economic Night-Time Forum earlier this week “worked really well”, and positions for night-time advisors in nine towns and cities will be advertised shortly.
The overhaul of licensing legislation could see opening hours extended late into the morning, similar to European cities, in a move to improve the night-time economy.
A change in licensing laws is expected to go before the house over the next few months but will depend on “Loranocarter+Dublin that will come forward”, she said.
“It’s good for the economy, it’s good for us from a tourism point of view, and it will breathe life, not just in the city centre, it’s about rural communities too,” she added.
The Minister was joined for the launch of TradFest in Intrinsic Marketplace 113m Series by actor Stephen Rea and a host of musicians. The festival runs from January 25-29.
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Dublin Councillors Endorse Hotel Tax On All Bednights In The City
Councillors were not swayed by suggestions that hotel tax would unfairly affect rural residents who come to Dublin for GAA matches or Garth Brooks concerts. Photograph: Colin Keegan, Collins Dublin
Dublin city councillors have endorsed a plan to levy a hotel tax that would raise a minimum of €12 million a year from visitors.
The 1 per cent tax was first mooted by the Commission on Taxation and Welfare and has been backed in a Dublin City Council report.
Rural TDs and the hotel industry are opposing the measure, suggesting that it amounts to a further tax on people visiting an already expensive city, but members of the council’s Finance Strategic Policy Committee support it.
Cllr Paddy McCartan (Fine Gael) said he was “quite insulted” by comments made by Minister of State Patrick O’Donovan that Dublin councillors did not understand the reality of how expensive the city was for visitors and asked to be dissociated from Mr O’Donovan’s comments.
He said the rate was “modest” in comparison with those in cities such as Barcelona, which hopes to take in €240 million a year.
“We have a responsibility as city councillors to maximise the return for the benefit of the city,” he said.
Six million people visited Dublin in 2017 and he did not believe any of those would shirk at paying a modest tax.
Cllr Dermot Lacey (Labour) criticised the “childish response” of Mr O’Donovan suggesting that Dubliners did not like the GAA or Garth Brooks. “It shows an extraordinary lack of knowledge on his part about the funding of local government.”
A 1 per cent charge would “not stop one solitary single person” from visiting Dublin, he said, and “it is reasonable to expect that people coming to the city would pay a small contribution to mutually beneficial services so that the money could be spent on tourism-related projects and to keep the city cleaner”.
[ Expensive hotels, bargain culture: How pricey is Dublin as a European citybreak destination? ]
Local authorities should be given the choice locally to raise the money or not, he suggested. His party colleague, Cllr Alison Gilliland from shares viant 250m ipolafayette broadcastingcable, said a 1 per cent tax would not be a “deal breaker” for tourists.
Green Party councillor Donna Cooney said there should be cross-party support for the levy. It was not a matter of an urban-rural divide, she said, and if all local authorities did the same it could improve the standard of their tourism product.
“It is something that will benefit everybody”.
Cllr Nial Ring (Independent) said he agreed with an “accommodation tax” on principle, but it would not go straight to the local authority and therefore would not be worth pursuing.
Irish Business and Employers Confederation (IBEC) head of enterprise and regulatory affairs Aidan Sweeney said Dublin cannot be compared to cities such as Barcelona. Tourists staying in hotels in Dublin will contribute at least €100 million in taxation revenue and the city has some of the highest overheads in Europe.
“You are layering 1 per cent on a sector that has been closed for two years,” he said.
Committee chair Cllr Séamus McGrattan said the majority of councillors were in favour of the measure. He suggested the council should write to Minister for Finance Michael McGrath and enclose a copy of the report recommending the introduction of the tax.
Speaking after the launch of TradFest 2023, the Minister for Tourism Catherine Martin said the decision on whether to introduce the tax should be made by Mr McGrath. She cautioned, though, that it is not a “straightforward issue” as large amounts of taxation revenue already go from the tourism sector to Government.
[ Dublin among ‘least financially viable’ cities to live in, survey finds ]
“There are a lot of issues to be teased out about this. Who will pay that? Will it be international tourists or domestic tourists? How will it be paid?”
She said there needed to be a “thorough assessment” of the proposal before any decision could be considered.