Farmers' fears growing over state valuation of their homes
FRESH fears have been expressed over how the country's 100,000 farmers are to assess the value of their homes for the property tax.
One farming organisation has written to the Revenue Commissioners outlining what it says is a need for a "realistic valuation" of farm dwellings that are located near a working farm.
The Irish Creamery Milk Suppliers' Association (ICMSA) says it is concerned at the announcement that Revenue would be providing an "indicative value" on every house so that it could establish how much property tax the owners should pay.
ICMSA taxation committee chairman Lorcan McCabe said it would be "next to impossible" to establish the value of houses in rural areas where there was little or no recent sales data available.
"Essentially, a farm dwelling will have restricted value arising from access issues and nuisance factors such as proximity to farm buildings that are considerable and Revenue must take these into account," Mr McCabe said.
He added that while owners would still be able to self-assess, the reality was that if they deviated from the estimate provided by Revenue, they faced the prospect of an audit.
Revenue will also have the power to deduct the tax from their single-farm payment.
Independent deputy Michael Healy-Rae is advising farmers to value their homes at the minimum rate.
He contends the value of a farmhouse, regardless of size or level of comfort, is worthless to anyone but the farmer when it is in the middle of a working farm.