Saturday 21 July 2018

80,000 households will fall into property tax net as exemptions end in 2019

Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe has launched a review of the LPT
Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe has launched a review of the LPT
Cormac McQuinn

Cormac McQuinn

Around 80,000 household will have to pay Local Property Tax (LPT) for the first time in 2020 if exemptions for new-build homes end as planned next year.

Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe has launched a review of the LPT, saying he wants to avoid "dramatic changes" in what those who are currently liable for the tax have to pay.

There have been fears that homeowners who pay LPT will be subject to massive hikes, unless the way it is calculated is changed before a planned revaluation in 2019.

But Mr Donohoe did not comment on tens of thousands of homeowners set to be brought into the LPT net if exemptions for new-build properties since 2013 are allowed to expire.

The number of homes in this category was almost 62,000 by November 2017. At the Dáil's Budgetary Oversight Committee, Department of Finance officials did not dispute suggestions by Sinn Féin TD Pearse Doherty that the figure could be more than 80,000 by the time the exemptions end in 2019.

Fianna Fáil's Michael McGrath said that based on the current average LPT payment of €250, the extra funds raised could amount to €20m.

A report by the Parliamentary Budget Office found that this LPT exemption should end in 2019 as planned. A Department of Finance spokesman did not respond directly when asked if it will be allowed to expire and if Mr Donohoe would comment on the effect on those households.

The spokesman said: "As this review has yet to get under way, we would not pre-empt its conclusions nor speculate on possible outcomes."

Irish Independent

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