FEARS have been raised that the local property market could deteriorate further with plans to charge rates on empty houses from next year.
Sinn Fein MLA Francie Molloy has hit out at the move which he claims will add an extra financial burden to indebted households.
"Many local people have invested in property and some will have to sell the houses because of these new charges", he said.
"It is in effect double taxation."
The Dungannon District is dotted with empty houses, many of them single dwellings left unsold after the collapse of the property market.
The Mid-Ulster representative went on to criticise plans to use Building Control Officers from the Council to identify empty properties and report them to Land and Property Services, the agency responsible for collecting rates.
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