Monday 26 February 2018

Homeowners in south Dublin are being 'disproportionately hit' by property tax - TD

Fine Gael TD for Dublin-Rathdown Josepha Madigan has voiced her concerns about the property tax in a four-page document. Photo: Tom Burke
Fine Gael TD for Dublin-Rathdown Josepha Madigan has voiced her concerns about the property tax in a four-page document. Photo: Tom Burke
Niall O'Connor

Niall O'Connor

The new chairperson of the Oireachtas Budget Committee has reignited the debate on property tax, claiming that homeowners in south Co Dublin are being "disproportionately hit".

Fine Gael TD Josepha Madigan has warned that householders living in areas with the highest property values could be in line for a "major" tax in November 2019, when the new valuations kick in.

Ms Madigan, a key supporter of Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, also singled out the Roscommon constituency as an area that is not facing the same sort of pressures as her constituency of Dublin-Rathdown.

"Property values are lower in other parts of the country and have increased at far slower rates. The Local Property Tax inflicts a disproportionate, heavy burden on property owners in Dublin-Rathdown," Ms Madigan said in a four-page document sent to her constituents this week.

"Property valuations made from May 1, 2013 will be valid until November 1, 2019. But when properties are revalued at that point, Dublin-Rathdown homeowners could be in line for a major property tax increase as property prices in our area are increasing at such a rapid pace."

Figures published by property website Daft.ie show that the average one-bedroom apartment owner in south Dublin paid €315 in their annual property tax in 2013.

But the figures show that the same household paid €495 in 2017 - representing a 62pc increase.

Meanwhile, the owner of a five-bedroom detached house has seen their bills rise by 43pc, and the owner of a three-bedroom semi-detached house saw their bills increase by 49pc.

Ms Madigan's intervention is expected to be followed by other Fine Gael TDs in Dublin, who are coming under pressure from households concerned about escalating property tax bills.

However, Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe is understood to not be prepared to intervene to address the concerns in the upcoming Budget.

Consideration is, however, being given to increasing the property tax on vacant homes.

There are almost 190,000 of these properties across the country, almost half of which are situated in locations that are in high demand.

Any move to increase property tax on these properties could shore up additional cash available in the upcoming Budget.

In November 2015, the previous government moved to defuse the property tax row amid concerns that it was threatening the administration's very stability.

Changes to the legislation underpinning the tax ensured the freeze until 2019.

The move came on foot of a report by former civil servant Dr Don Thornhill.

But the property tax issue will once again come to the fore in the autumn when councillors meet to agree whether to adjust the rate by 15pc for the period ending October 31, 2018.

Irish Independent

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