Thursday 18 October 2018

Eyesore property owners face dereliction tax

Anita Guidera

PEOPLE who own rundown eyesore properties in a holiday resort face being taxed thousands of euro unless they clean up their act.

Owners of 13 derelict buildings in Bundoran, Co Donegal could face an annual "dereliction" tax of 3pc of the market value of the property.

This could mean coughing up ?7,500 per year on properties with an average value of euro ?250,000.

Town council chairman Tighearnan Brady yesterday confirmed that they had the power to impose the penalties under measures introduced by the government.

He plans to ask the council to agree to charge the tax on rundown properties by the New Year.

Offenders had received several notices during the year and while some owners cleaned up their properties other unsightly buildings remained untouched by owners who live in Northern Ireland. Mr Brady accused these owners of "sitting" on the properties, simply waiting for the value to increase, and making no positive contribution to the town. In one particularly bad incident, local authorities had to bring in specialists to rid the very visible property of hordes of rats.

Mr Brady pointed out that the Tidy Town contest commended Bundoran for achieving high marks.

"They were very complimentary about how clean Bundoran is despite the great numbers of day visitors who don't care what they leave behind," he said.

"We'll take the kudos where we get them but there are areas where there are problems with derelict buildings."

"If people insist on leaving their houses derelict in a town like Bundoran that is so dependent on tourism and on projecting a good image, then we may have to put in place a derelict tax on sites that refuse to develop," he said.

"We will have to find some financial incentive to encourage people who have refused to do anything with their sites.

"If the problem persists we will have to introduce the tax. Our image is everything. Nothing must be allowed take away from that."

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