Sunday 22 April 2018

Murphy signals shift on property tax valuations

Housing Minister Eoghan Murphy is looking at the tax Picture by Fergal Phillips
Housing Minister Eoghan Murphy is looking at the tax Picture by Fergal Phillips
John Downing

John Downing

Housing Minister Eoghan Murphy has signalled he is ready to change the way property taxes are calculated.

Mr Murphy, who will meet Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe later this week to discuss the future of the controversial charge, has said he wants to see less emphasis on the value of the property.

That could be good news for Dublin homeowners who face higher charges than people in comparable houses outside big urban centres.

Mr Murphy told the 'Sunday Independent' that he would be "making no assumptions" on the matter before a Government review. But one in every three euro raised by the tax last year came from the four Dublin council areas.

With property taxes in Dublin up to four times higher than many rural areas, all TDs are very conscious of the political sensitivities around the capital. Most elections are won or lost for bigger parties in and around Dublin, which has over 40 TDs out of the current 158 total.

At the same time, Transport Minister Shane Ross, who like Mr Murphy represents a constituency in Dublin South, has said he would like to see more waivers for people on low incomes.

Mr Ross has said that some people with high-value homes are getting by on low pensions.

It is understood that one of the options under consideration is "a rated banding system".

This would take into account a range of factors such as location and local authority service levels, and not just depend on a property valuation.

The Government is preparing a major review of the controversial tax. Politicians and various interest groups and individuals will be invited to make submissions.

It is understood that Fianna Fáil will approach the issue by trying to keep property tax rates as low as possible and especially avoid sharp rises.

Irish Independent

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