IN: The Property Tax
OUT: Protective grants

AS the Revenue sends out notices to people telling them of the new property tax charges it has been revealed that those who own listed buildings have little chance of getting help to maintain them.

AS the Revenue sends out notices to people telling them of the new property tax charges it has been revealed that those who own listed buildings have little chance of getting help to maintain them.

The number of listed buildings in mid-Louth rose dramatically, alongside the building boom, mainly because of the Government legislation introduced in 1999.

At that time Louth County Council got w200,000 a year in grants to assist people with the maintanence of listed property.

In 2010 this was cut to w100,000.

Last year there was just w20,000 for the entire county.

And now there is just w500,000 euro for the entire country.

Ms Angela Dullaghan, Conservation Officer with Louth County Council delivered these facts to a meeting of Ardee Town Council and appealed to owners of protected structures to come and talk to council officials if they need advice or have difficulties in maintaining the properties.

Councillors seem surprised when told there are 90 listed buildings in Ardee alone.

The only way they can be taken off the protected structure list is when the County Development Plan comes up for review.

That will not happen until the end of this year.

Meanwhile, councillors have been asked to use their collective voice and ask the Minister for the Arts and Heritage to restore some of the funding for listed buildings so that people can maintain them.

It has even been suggested that these properties should be exempt from the property tax.

There are fifteen buildings of national importance in Louth including Townly Hall in mid-Louth.

During the economic boom money was invested in the protection of our heritage and great efforts were made to protect as many structures as possible.

The council is now trying to protect structures with little funding. But, as Angela Dullaghan said: “we don’t want to lose what’s important because of hard times”.