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Tuesday 23 September 2014

Noonan ignores TDs' calls for property tax reforms

Fiach Kelly Political Correspondent

Published 14/02/2013 | 04:00

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GOVERNMENT TDs in Dublin who lobbied for changes to the property tax are still refusing to accept defeat, despite being ignored for a second time by Finance Minister Michael Noonan.

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Coalition TDs in the capital complained the property tax will unfairly hit homeowners in Dublin as homes in the city are generally worth more than elsewhere in the country.

But Mr Noonan has made no changes to the basic way the property tax is calculated on the value of the home in either the main legislation or minor amendments.

Amendments published yesterday contained concessions for social housing as well as properties owned by charities, which will be exempt.

Homes affected by pyrite will also be exempt for three years.

Despite facing defeat on the issue for the second time, Dublin coalition TDs are still holding out hope of changes in years to come. But senior sources in the Department of Finance have dismissed this, saying nothing will change after the amendments announced yesterday.

"There'll be no change in the lifetime of this Government. Those things aren't going to change, one source said."

Dublin South TD Olivia Mitchell said she accepted the tax will not be changed this year, but insisted she will lobby Mr Noonan to have it lowered for Dubliners in 2014.

Dublin South-East TD Eoghan Murphy said he's "a little annoyed that it wasn't flagged that there would be changes, we were always told there wouldn't be.

"And here there are changes, but I suppose it would make you optimistic there may be in future," Mr Murphy said

Labour Dublin Mid-West TD Robert Dowds said the provision allowing local authority and voluntary housing into the lowest tax bands will help one in eight homeowners in the South Dublin County Council area in his constituency.

Mr Dowds added that Mr Noonan's changes show the minister is open to suggestions and amendments if they are needed.

Irish Independent

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