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Local property tax charges to be delayed for another year

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Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Michael McGrath. Photo: Gareth Chaney, Collins

Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Michael McGrath. Photo: Gareth Chaney, Collins

Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Michael McGrath. Photo: Gareth Chaney, Collins

A re-evaluation of local property tax charges is to be delayed for another year.

The Cabinet will today agree to postpone significant changes to how property tax is charged which were due to be announced in this year’s budget.

Around 50,000 homeowners who have been exempt from the tax for the last seven years will also not have to pay next year.

Last April, before the 2020 General Election, Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe announced that changes to the property tax regime would be made by the next government in November this year.

At the time, the then Fianna Fáil's finance spokesman Michael McGrath said Mr Donohoe’s decision was "a classic example" of "kicking the can down the road". Mr McGrath said the decision was "about the electoral cycle" and was a sign of "weak government".

Property tax charges have not changed since they were first introduced and if the Government was to re-evaluate the charges based on current house prices they tax could skyrocket for homeowners.

Mr Donohoe produced a report last year which detailed a series of options for changing how the tax is calculated.

The Programme for Government says the Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael and Green Party coalitions will bring forward legislation for the local property tax on the “basis of fairness” so that most homeowners will face not significant increases.

It also says they will bring new homes, which are currently exempt from the charge, into the taxation system.

It says all money collected locally will be retained within the county where it was collected. “This will be done on the basis that that those counties with a lower LPT base are adjusted via an annual national equalisation fund paid from the Exchequer, as is currently the case,” it adds.

Online Editors