Tuesday 17 October 2017

How a property tax rebate could help solve housing crisis

'Tens of thousands of students are scrambling to find accommodation' (picture posed)
'Tens of thousands of students are scrambling to find accommodation' (picture posed)
Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor

With the now-annual decrease in available housing units precipitated by students seeking accommodation for the upcoming academic year, it is time for radical measures to immediately increase the supply of accommodation.

The quickest and cheapest way of preventing this crisis from deteriorating further is to offer a partial or full rebate of Local Property Tax to family homes which take in a student from outside the county. For example, a full rebate could be given on homes valued at less than €500,000 and a sliding scale used thereafter.

Many will dismiss the idea on the grounds that the existing tax exemption from rent-a-room income would dwarf any rebate. Although technically correct, this argument ignores the concept of the 'endowment effect' - people value money that they have to give up (in taxes) more than similar amounts they could gain in the future.

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