Not As Daft As They Look

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Yesterday the Irish Mail on Sunday reported that the Government will ask homeowners to calculate their own property tax rate using websites such as myhome.ie or daft.ie. 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 myhome.ie or whatever. You will know what prices are if you go into myhome.ie and there is a property register there now also.’

There was no mention in the story about the relationship between Government officials and myhome.ie or daft.ie, 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 daft.ie 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.’

Hmm.