Householders must pay household tax before Xmas despite growing backlash
HOUSEHOLDERS will still have to pay the property tax before Christmas if they are using cheques, debit cards or credit cards – despite a backlash from Labour TDs.
There are growing complaints from backbenchers that it is unfair to force many householders to pay the property tax twice in the space of a year – once for 2013 and once for 2014.
Over half of the population paid their property tax using their credit or debit card this year.
But the Revenue is insisting that the November 27 deadline for paying the 2014 property tax by credit card or debit card will stay in place.
It said there are other ways of paying the property tax after Christmas, such as direct debit or monthly deductions from wages.
And there is no sign of the Government intervening, despite Tanaiste Eamon Gilmore saying that Revenue should do everything it could to facilitate families paying the property tax.
A spokesman for Mr Gilmore said it was "far too early" to be discussing pushing back the deadline for payment.
Labour Dublin North West TD John Lyons said it was not fair to ask people to pay next year's property tax in November using certain payment methods.
"The fairest thing to do would be to allow property owners make their payment choice by the end of the year and pay in March 2014," he said.
Labour TDs and councillors were also up in arms about the fact that the Government had broken its promise to ring-fence the bulk of the property tax money for the areas it is collected from.
The Government had promised to return four out of five euro collected in each area to the local council. But the money is now going to go into a general fund for all councils.
Labour councillors are meeting Public Expenditure Minister Brendan Howlin this week to lobby him for a change in how the tax revenue is spent.
They are complaining that residents in Dublin paying high property taxes are subsidising services in rural poorer councils.
Labour Dublin South East TD Kevin Humphreys said that Dublin City Council would also have to cope with the ending of the second homes tax next year as well as the absence of extra funding from the property tax.
Fine Gael Dublin South TD Olivia Mitchell said there were now serious concerns about the ability of councils in Dublin to use their power to cut the property tax by 15pc next year.
"It's bad enough that people in Dublin are paying so much in property tax but when they find out it is going to other local authorities, they will really be incensed," she said.