Not As Daft As They Look


Yesterday the Irish Mail on Sunday reported that the Government will ask homeowners to calculate their own property tax rate using websites such as or Eventually the Government will set up their own online valuation system, according to the MoS.

The paper claimed a ‘source at Government buildings’ as saying: ‘It’s self-assessment, you go and value it yourself. House prices have fallen and we all know that so there isn’t much fluctuation in the market. The easiest way to value your house is to go into or whatever. You will know what prices are if you go into and there is a property register there now also.’

There was no mention in the story about the relationship between Government officials and or, or if any talks  took place between them, if there was any contract drawn up, if the websites will be paid by the Government for helping them out with this already free service.

But is it right for a property tax to be assessed by privately-owned websites that have a vested interest in the housing market’s recovery?

This interest was laid bare by Ronan Lyons, of in yesterday’s Sunday Business Post. He wrote that Ireland is approaching the beginning of the end of the crash.

He stated ‘Indeed, the national average house price is largely unchanged since February‘ before warning that the true barometer of market recovery is not the stabilisation of property prices but rather the number of transactions made.

In relation to property tax, he said: ‘With every other developed country taxing what is any country’s largest source of wealth, the lack of a property tax – which will hit wealthiest families hardest and so should be welcomed by Ireland’s left-wing, one would have thought – is an obvious gap in Ireland’s fiscal toolkit.’


36 thoughts on “Not As Daft As They Look

  1. Ziggy was actually owned by a couple of guys a few years ago, until the IrishTime paid ridiculous money for it ( 50 million euro ) back before the recession, and they been trying to work or sell it somehow for the last few years but can get no where to the price they got it for.

  2. Leela2011

    if you’re on Jobseekers Allowance, Welfare take into account any property you have and you ‘prove’ the value based on online ads etc

  3. frillykeane

    They can use what the fúcking like

    I’m not paying

    And it’ll take that hound Hogan to kick my door in with the demand before I’ll even look at a scrap of paper about it.

  4. Drogg

    The property tax is really frustrating i bought my home last year when for the first time the market was low enough that i could by an affordable house in a decent area now the house was in shite so i had to spend alot of time working on it. Now with me fixing my place up and house prices in my area going up im going to have to pay a hefty bill every year for a meager 3bed gaff.

    And what am i getting for this tax? i pay for my bins privately i donate to my residents association for the upkeep of the estate, i pay for my gas, esb and from next year water.

    I pay tolls and motor tax for the upkeep of the roads, i have private health insurance cause i have a medical condition and the public system isnt up to scratch.

    They also take a 3rd of my wages a month to go towards service i dont seem to get to avail of.

    Why am i handing out so much money to these muppets for nothing. I truly hate everyone of them in government, cause all i hear is you there work harder so we can take more money from you so you find it harder to make it true the month while we enjoy our large salaries and ridiculous pensions.

    Sorry for ranting

    1. woesinger

      It’d be easy to glibly write “cry me a river”, as seems popular hereabouts. I won’t do that, but you should know that in the great scheme of things, you’re doing ok. You’ve got a house that probably isn’t in negative equity. Though it not might not feel like it, that alone means you’re better off than many in this country.

      For all the waste, the bailouts and the gombeen shitehawkery, Ireland is not (yet) in a complete heap (if you’ve a doubt about that, take a look around the world, and notice the number of completely fucked countries there are). What public services we have, as ass-backwards as many of them are, only exist because of taxation, and things would be a hell of a lot worse without them. Roads, water, sanitation, gas, electricity, police, law, hospitals do not grow on trees – or would be far more expensive and haphazard if provided solely by private enterprise, which is, despite the claims of boosters, is not immune to waste, or gombeen shitehawkery.

      Most of the stuff we take for granted every day comes out of the tax we pay.
      Could it be more cost effective? Oh hell yes!
      Is it worth paying? Same answer – because the alternative is horrific.

      1. Drogg

        but the problem is that the public service is so inefficient that if these companies where run privately and i didn’t have to pay the tax to contribute to these services i firmly believe that the privately run companies could supply even cheaper bills and least id know where my money was going.

        and the reason i’m not in negative equity was when they where handing out the 100% mortgages i had the will power to say no.

        1. woesinger

          I hear you on the negative equity and on public sector inefficiency!

          If you look at privatisation in the UK – I think the case for cheaper bills and better service is pretty uneven.

          There are some infrastructural services that just do not fit into the private enterprise mould. Some public services cannot be delivered to all citizens at a profit.

          I’d argue that the solution to inefficient public services isn’t less public services, but reform to improve efficiency in public services.

      2. Kath

        I’ve never minded paying taxes (still don’t) because I don’t want to be personally responsible for mending the road outside my house, etc. I like living in a society that has a police force, fire brigade, hospitals, post offices, roads with footpaths and traffic lights which work. I have zero problem with a property tax but that’s probably because I lived so long in the States, where its normal (along with water & sewer taxes).

        I do think we can do better and I do think the affluent should pay a much higher tax rate (this .25% vs .18% mansion tax nonsense is so little that its actually insulting although I’ll take it over nothing). Plus, how much money could we save by reforming State pensions? Surely one person should only be entitled to draw on one State pension – let them chose which one they want to receive, but you only get one. I’d love to see a projection of how much money that could save.

    2. Jerra

      We were able to survive very well without household tax until we decided to pay off the bondholders.
      That’s what you’re paying for.

      1. Drogg

        yeah unfortunately this i know. i was wondering if we had burnt the bond holders would we have been ok and Germany be in trouble as they seem to own alot of our bonds

        1. Kolmo

          We are paying for German bank gambling losses – that’s all. We get austerity up the ying yang so they don’t have to. It will never, ever be payed back, it is impossible. The vultures come in, strip the nation of it’s money making assets and we’ll end up like the north of England, populated by increasingly maladjusted feral types..

    3. cluster

      I agree that much of the tax take is wasted, however I would like to point out a few things which you have not included.

      Law & Order, you live in a state which has, in global terms, a reasonably well functioning courts system and relatively low crime rate. Try living in a country without this to assess the difference, for example Somalia.

      What you are paying for water does not nearly cover the cost of providing the water. The state has built all the infrastructure to date.

      The state subsidises the private health system so what you pay does not cover the cost. Compare premiums in the US until recently and Ireland.

      What you are paying in motor tax does not nearly cover the cost of the infrastructure and the associated environmental cost.

      Presumably your job requires a certain level of education. The state most likely bore the bulk of the brunt of this cost.

      State agencies regulate industries so that the air you breathe is safe.

      You are also helping those less fortunate than yourself and if you are unlucky, you may need to resort to this safety net one day.

      If you ever use public parks, sports grounds, etc. you are drawing down a benefit from your taxes.

      I am fully in agreement about the need to increase the efficiency and efficacy of the public service, however a bit less smug woe-is-me whinging would be nice.

      1. Drogg

        firstly cluster i didnt make the required CAO points to go to collage so i worked and payed to go. I’m not doing a woe is me whinging i’m pointing out that there only so far they can push and so much they can take off me before its not worth my while working.

        then i become a burden on the system and i’m all up for giving to my fellow countrymen but i don’t work what sometimes come to 80 hour weeks to feed the unemployed.

        1. cluster

          My point is that you said that you got ‘nothing’ for your taxes, I’m trying to demonstrate that while the system is far from ideal, you are getting quite a lot for your taxes.

          Thw whole private sector does it better mantra is a fallacy for many things. British Rail is a nice example. Trains in the UK cover less routes, are more expensive, less safe and less reliable than when they were nationalised.

          Much of the sh*t we are in at the moment is because we stepped back and ‘got out of the way’ of the free market banks even though their stability is crucial to our economy.

          1. Drogg

            sorry i ment what are we getting for paying the property tax, i should have been clearer that was my fault.

            Trains are a very inefficient way of transporting people, but very cost effective way of transporting goods.

            unfortunately i dont feel the banks are overly stable these days which less money in the average joe’s pockets ain’t going to help

  5. Fom Toolery

    This is a silly idea. The prices on My Home and Daft are prices that people are “Looking” for their property – it has no connection to what the house eventually sells for. i.e. the actual value of the house.

    If you look on the site and search any estate you will see huge fluctuations between identical houses.

      1. Kath

        I’d truly thought I had seen it all but this beggars belief.
        Surely they should get their house in order (perhaps creating new roles for civil servants who need redeployment) and create the body which is going to oversee this before rolling it out.

        But the self-assessment takes the cake. Excuse me please, my head may explode now.

  6. Hashtag Hoop

    I can see a lot of homeowners suddenly losing a bedroom here and there. Look what happened as a result of Window Tax introduced by the Brits in the 1730s.

  7. Boba Fettucine

    Will they keep a register of ‘declared value for taxation’ – and if so how will this impact on house prices?

  8. Owen C

    The slightly innuendo-ous reference to what Ronan Lyons says is somewhat surprising from Broadsheet. Anyone who has read or listened to him over the last few years would know he’s a fairly straight talking and honest guy. He is firmly of the belief that housing market prices should more or less only follow the normal rate of inflation, and that activity is far more important than price in terms of saying whether the market has “recovered” or not, as the activity ‘confirms’ the price is an accurate gauge of demand and supply, so to speak. So im not sure where the raised eyebrows are coming from. Would it be better for an new “property pricing” quango to be set up??

  9. The Dude

    Its Ireland, but can this be true? Hopefully this & budget will sink the slackers in Leinster House.

  10. Sido

    WTF – the days when actual people, actually used to use myhome and daft, was about five years ago.
    What must our legislators be thinking – do they actually use these sites?

  11. Sarah

    This is appalling, and are populated by the general public (whom feel they property is worth much more than it actually is) and greedy estate agents (who are driven by commission thus ask far over the odds hoping an unsuspecting purchaser will buy the property for the extravagant asking price no questions asked!) and the asking price they state have no real life connection to the price they actually receive.

    We have been seeking transparency in the Irish property market for years; it would have assisted in reducing the size of the property bubble and in the further will assist in preventing the enormity of this crash occurring again. Transparency in Ireland’s property sector would reveal the actual sale price of property’s and no doubt cause a further property crash as the genuine sale prices once published would shock this otherwise trusting and oblivious nation to the core.

    Prospective property purchasers are unfortunately uneducated about the biggest purchase of their lives, in a country where our culture is to buy our own place and get on the property ladder ASAP; foresight would be an enormous benefit. The true value of any property can be calculated by an equation 10 x 1(year rental value) + inflation, thus a property for rent at €1200 per month = €14,400 per annum x 10 = Market value €144,000 + approximately 10% 1nflation.

    Until transparency occurs our government cannot charge a tax on a kind of, maybe, probably, could cost about this price scenario. The source at government buildings (as per above) needs to be realistic and start doing their job!!!!

  12. barnch

    There is one rational response to this idea.


    This is the ultimate political kite, right?

    I’m calling al jazeera, RT, CNN, France24, the lot.

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