'It's not fair that we should have to pay'
LESS than a year ago, 73 homes constructed in Rosmor, Limerick, during the Celtic Tiger years were deemed to be in an unfinished ghost estate.
Many homeowners in the estate on the southern side of the city are living in negativity equity, but all were spared the €100 household levy.
However, the Government has decided that all property owners in Rosmor now have to pay the contentious property tax.
Resident Ryan Fitzgerald (32) believes it is not fair that either himself or his neighbours are being asked to pay it.
Mr Fitzgerald moved into the estate five years ago. Directly across the road from his home is a derelict site where more homes were due to be constructed.
All that remains among the overgrowth are abandoned security huts and building material, with a fence bordering off the site.
Some of the neighbouring homes to his own are vacant and a few have been vandalised.
"The property tax – it is completely unfair," Mr Fitzgerald said.
"Even though we didn't have to pay the household charge, I had a feeling this was coming though. In the last few days there were some changes here.
"The public light on the green outside my house has not worked for over three-and-a-half years but that was fixed.
"All new road markings have gone down. The paint is still fresh and the markings for laying the 'stop' sign out are still there.
"A new concrete wall has just gone up at the back of the site across the way – all this happened in recent days."
Three years ago, Ter Bussoil (43) moved into Rosmor.
"It's a three-bed terraced house. It cost me €160,000, and my neighbours paid up to €215,000. They're selling for €90,000 now. When I moved in the builders had moved off site. My house was about two years old at the time.
"I think the minister has pulled a quick one. Nothing has changed in the estate so why was I exempt last year, but I'm not this year?
"I assume I'll get a bill now the list of estates has been published. I'm sure there's people in worse estates than me.
"But why am I not exempt this year?" Mr Bussoil asked.
The Department of the Environment deemed what estates were unfinished on information collated for it by local authorities last month.