PLANS to introduce a new value-based property tax will be finalised in the middle of next year, the Government has revealed.
Phil Hogan, Environment, Community and Local Government Minister, said the levy on homes will replace the flat rate €100 household charge announced in Budget 2012.
"A full property tax, requiring a property valuation system, will take time to implement, so the Government is introducing the interim household charge to apply to the majority of owners of residential property in the State," Mr Hogan said.
"I will establish an inter-departmental expert group to advise me, by mid 2012, on the design, scope and implementation of the property tax."
Mr Hogan said the €100 charge, costing families about €2 a week, will raise €160 million a year to fund local services including fire and emergency services, libraries and leisure facilities.
The levy will go towards budgets for local authorities.
"It is essential if we want to continue to have the level of local services we expect, such as fire and emergency services, well maintained streets, public parks, waste services, libraries, open spaces and leisure facilities, that we provide the necessary financial resources to pay for them," Mr Hogan said.
"I understand that the introduction of the household charge, even though modest at less than the equivalent of two euro a week, represents an additional cost for homeowners so I have provided in the Bill that it may be paid in a number of instalments.
"I have also introduced provisions in the Bill to protect vulnerable groups in society by providing a waiver for those on mortgage interest supplement and those residing in certain unfinished housing estates."
Those living in social housing and ghost estates will be exempt from the charge. Further details on the unfinished estates qualifying for the waiver will be announced as soon as possible, the minister said.