THE Revenue’s much anticipated property website has raised many eyebrows after clumping together massive sections of the country to estimate home values.
Celebrities such as Bono, Yvonne Keating and Michael O’Leary will be among the most surprised people if they look up the web page today.
U2 Bono's mansion is within the south Dublin band 11, was built before 2000 and is detached which, at first glance, would place it in an |estimated band of €550,000-€600,000.
This would mean that Paul and Ali Hewson would pay just €517 for their Vico Road property this year.
However the singer’s lavish property is worth several million euro – and Bono is even reported to have spent €1m alone on redeveloping the home in recent years.
One estimate puts the overall value at €2.5m, which would leave the property tax at €2,775.
Yvonne Keating’s family home on the plush estate of Abington, Malahide, appears to be in tax band 10.
This values their home at €500,001-€550,000, and they would pay a property tax of €472. But just down the road, a house on the very same estate sold for €3m.
The system is also counterproductive in the area of Cavan.
The county’s many mansions and detached properties, including Sean Quinn's sprawling pile, have all been valued at band two, which is between €100,001 and 150,000. This means that homeowners there would pay just €112 in 2013.
And Ryanair boss Michael O’Leary’s country pile in Gigginstown, Westmeath, also falls into band two, which estimates it at €100,001 to €150,000, meaning he’ll be liable for tax of only €157 per year.
A disclaimer on the new Revenue site, however, says that it is ‘not relevant in the case of properties with a market value in excess of €1m’.
But ordinary homeowners have also been left scratching their heads at the general nature of valuations.
All terraced homes in Howth, for example, have an estimated Revenue valuation of between €300,001 and €350,000.
But, in reality, these houses are valued at much less. Earlier this year, one house in Church Street sold for €130,000, which would mean that these homeowners should pay just €112 in property tax this year.
Ronan Lyons, economist with Daft.ie said the system is vague because it doesn't allow for the different sizes of homes. “The Revenue have done as much as they can with the information that is out there,” he said.
“You put in your type, your country and the rough information about the age.
“That leaves out a large number of factors that affect the value of the property.
“They don't have key information. For example, the number of bedrooms and square meterage, so you end up with a relatively vague value of the property.
“That presents issues in Dublin and the rest of the country, where values are vastly different. In the case of a large, new detached property that is beside another and what appears on paper the same, may be a much smaller property.”
Revenue is to begin distributing tax forms to 1.8 million householders nationwide.
Property owners who believe their estimate is wrong will be able to appeal.
The guide is available at www.revenue.ie