Tag Archives: Property Tax

Brian Hutton, in The Irish Times, reports:

Revenue has apologised to about 1,500 people after wrongly taking hundreds of thousands of euro from their bank accounts over recent days as a result of a “payment processing” error.

Homeowners were unexpectedly hit with their local property tax (LPT) weeks before Christmas, despite having made direct debit arrangements with Revenue for the sums to be deducted next year.

The Irish Times has learned that more than €830,000 was taken from bank accounts in error.”

Property tax wrongly taken from accounts weeks before Christmas (Brian Hutton, The Irish Times)

Olivia Kelly, in The Irish Times, reports:

More than 90 per cent of homeowners are paying local property tax (LPT) based on property values of less than €300,000, according to figures from the Revenue Commissioners.

Local authorities will next month decide how much property tax to charge householders in their area next year.

…LPT property valuations have been frozen at 2013 levels until October of next year, when a re-evaluation, which will effect charges from 2020, is due to be implemented.

This June the average cost of a house across the State was €237,000 and €359,852 in Dublin.

More than 90% of homes valued under €300,000 by owners for property tax (Olivia Kelly, The Irish Times)


From top: LPT logo; Cllr Dermot Lacey

Dermot Lacey writes:

It was extraordinary that in a lengthy article about Local Propery Tax that Fine Gael Deputy Josepha Madigan managed to not even mentions the words “Local Government” once.

Yes, it looks like once again we are having a debate on Property Tax/Council Charge in the absence of virtually any contribution from those who actually work within the local government sector and who try to make a dysfunctional system work at all.

Instead we have had myriad opinion pieces from academics, ill informed commentators, vested interests and frequently the the Far Left and the Nationalist Left who have opposed every single suggestion as to how we should finance our system fairly and with democratic accountability.

Now Deputy Madigan can be added to the list.

Too often the voice of the constructive left has been sidelined and the platform left to the opportunists. Across the world Socialists and Social Democrats advocate payment into a collective fund, toward the provision of collective services.

All across the world, that is, except for the Trendy Left and Nationalist Left in Ireland. Here they simply oppose, protest, march, campaign and instill fear and selfish individualism.

I oppose their agenda just as much as I oppose those who broke this country and brought Ireland to its knees. However we can not just abolish taxes willy nilly because they are unpopular. We must refine and reform.

No Public representative particularly wants to advocate more tax. However, surely this country has had enough of those who promise without cost and who offer Public Services without any reference to payment or appropriate taxation.

The truth is that since the populist and cowardly abolition of Domestic Rates Local Government has been starved of funding. The promise to reimburse Councils for the Rates foregone was never honoured by Government.

I have calculated that since that decision approximately 8 billion has been withheld from Dublin City Council alone by Government. That cannot be sustained.

It is clear that the Property Tax has many flaws I hope that in the period between now and the Local Elections scheduled for 2019 we can use the period to tackle those problems and develop a fairer and more accountable model.

I have proposed before that a Forum on the Financing of Local Government be established. It would be comprised of the main Political Parties, the Social Partners and the Councillor Representative Bodies.

The Forum would be charged, with agreeing a consensus approach on the issue. There would be an opportunity to contribute for the wider public and it would be given a maximum of six months to report.

The Forum could consider either a national and common approach to the funding issue or, as I would prefer, a range of options that could be determined, as appropriate by local elected Councils.

These could include everything from property taxes, a tourist or hotel bed levy, planning enforcement charges, a variable income or sales tax and so on.

Real responsibility will then rest with local Councillors who will also have real flexibility in how to spend the money.

Proposals for reform are still possible in any genuine refinement of the Property Tax legislation. Fine Gael TDs who are vocal on the Plinth and indeed the Opinion Columns might now engage actively in the Parliamentary Party rooms to deliver on some of these:

1) Property Tax raised locally should be retained by the relevant Local Authority in which the money is raised.

2) That price variation in areas be recognized as a reality with appropriate banding. The charge would also reflect the size and value of the property.

3) That an ability to pay clause be an essential element.

4) Central Government must not use LPT income as an excuse the further reduce Local Government income.

5) That Local Councils be continued to vary the nationally set rate by a maximum of 15% but that the consquences of any variation be part of the public documentation on the decision.

6) Provision be made for costs incurred in protecting and upgrading Heritage and Cultural properties that are open to the public.

7) That a penalty would be applied for any deliberate dereliction of property in an attempt to avoid payment. In short that there be no reward for dereliction of property.

8) That real acknowledgement of the enormous sums expended in Stamp Duty during the years 2008 to 1998 be dealt with through a sliding scale of abatement.

9) That given the normal high costs incurred with the purchase of a first house that an abatement sliding from 70% to 20% be applied for the first five years of such purchase in future.

10) That provision be made to integrate waste charges and water charges into the LPT with appropriate reductions for sustainable usage.

Financing is central to any real reform of Local Government and, in my opinion, reform of Local Government must be central to how we reform Ireland. Honesty rather than sloganeering and playing to the gallery must be central to both.

Over the last three years Labour on Dublin City Council has sought to balance the high costs in Dublin with the need for real investment in Public Services.

Incredibly we were consistently opposed by a coalition of Fianna Fail, Fine Gael, the Ultra Left and Sinn Féin in their collective desire to ensure popularity.

It is time we had a long needed honest debate on Local Government Financing. Fairness in taxation and provision of quality needed Public Services are not incompatible but indeed essential.

Dermot Lacey is Leader of the Labour Group on Dublin City Council. Follow Dermot on Twitter: @LaceyDermot

joe_duffyIf you sell your home at the end of this year YOU are still liable for property tax until November next year.

Yeah whatever

But all is not lost.

Dublin solicitor Caroline Fanning contacted Liveline on RTE R1 this afternoon to tell Joe Duffy about a potential loophole the revenue overlooked.

It may involve throwing a “sickie”.

Caroline Fanning: “I decided to go back and have another look at the Finance Act 2012, which is the relevant legislation – and in that Act, it imposes this tax on people who are deemed to be liable persons, as of the 1st November 2013 – so they are liable for the 2014 tax.
“But if you read on further through that Act, if you look at Section 5.2, Sub Section A2. Sub Section 5.2 says that, ‘A residential property won’t be deemed to be a relevant residential property where the property has been vacated by the liable person for a period less than 12 months.’
“It doesn’t specify if that period is one day, or one hour – it just says less than 12 months – and where a GP is satisfied that that person is unlikely to resume occupation of that property, provided that the property is not occupied by another person.
It’s an interpretation of this section, because it’s very loose, because the rest of the section is in terms of a person who has a long term mental or physical infirmity, which is Section 5.2A Sub Section 1, but there’s no link between Sub Section 1 and Sub Section 2 – so you can read Sub Section 2 in its entirety as a stand-alone sub section.
So, therefore, if somebody sells their property tomorrow and goes to their doctor and says, ‘I’ve sold my property, I’ve given my keys to them, I’ve got the money in my bank account, I’m never going to live there again.’ – and their doctor is satisfied that that is the case, and that the new owner hasn’t immediately resumed occupation of the property – say a couple of days’ grace, moving stuff out, or builders, or whatever, their GP, if they certify that that person won’t be resuming occupation, that person has complied with Section 5.2A, Sub Section 2, that the property is not going to be a relevant residential property and therefore, they are not liable for the tax.”

Joe Duffy: “But they would say there is subsidiarity in Sub Section 5.2A1?”

Caroline Fanning: “The last word in Sub Section 5.2A1 is ‘or’, which means that either one will apply – so I think that under this interpretation of statute for a penal tax, or something penal is happening to the citizen that you’re able to construe that legislation in favour of the citizen – and I think that in this case, it’s definitely a case to be made.”

Joe Duffy:
“And Caroline, you are a solicitor, I see, it’s very very well spotted. Have you ever beaten Revenue in interpretation?”

Caroline Fanning: “I’ve beaten – I’ve won on certain things in going back..{Joe interrupts}.”

Joe Duffy: “You’re saying, your belief is that if you read this in a particular way – in the way it’s written, that anyone who does sell their house in November or December this year – at the moment they are being hit by the property tax – even though they have no access or use of the house, or ownership of the house, they will be hit for property tax for next year. You’re saying that what you should do is, regardless of your mental or physical state, you go to a GP, and you get a letter from a GP saying, ‘I will not be…{Caroline interrupts}

Caroline Fanning: “…they are satisfied that you will be unlikely at any stage to resume occupation of the property’ – which is the wording in the legislation.”

Joe Duffy:
“And you can send that into Revenue and that exempts you?”

Caroline Fanning:
“Well, there’s definitely a case to be made.”

Joe Duffy: “Revenue will say that this was aimed at people going into a nursing home?”

Caroline Fanning: “But there’s no link between the two, you can read them in their entirety.”

Joe Duffy: “So what you’re saying is 5.2A2 should actually be 5.2A and should be part of 5.2A1 and there shouldn’t be a break?”

Caroline Fanning:
“Well, that would be up to the drafters of the legislation, but there’s definitely an interpretation to be made that could apply to those people that are being hit for property tax for next year.”

Joe Duffy: “But the GP will laugh – if you were to say, ‘Will you exempt me from my property tax?”

Caroline Fanning: “That would be up to the GP, I’m sure some would be sympathetic.”

Joe Duffy: “That’s fascinating, well spotted – and best of luck with it Caroline!”

Caroline Fannning: “Thank you.”


Listen Here

(Photocall Ireland)

Screen Shot 2013-07-24 at 23.00.01Today’s Irish Daily Mail.


Not so, says the Government news service:

“None of the funds collected though the Local Property tax have gone towards our bailout debt nor will it be handed to bank bondholders. Any statement to the contrary is inaccurate.

From the 1st of January 2014 the Minister for Finance will pay the Local Property Tax into the Local Government Fund and will be used to fund local services – this provision was including in the Local Property Tax Act first published on the 14th of December and debated in the Oireachtas in December 2012.

The Government has also announced its intention that 80% of the local property tax will be retained in the local authority area it is raised to fund local services in the area.”



YOU decide.

Factual position on Local Property Tax (MerrionStreet.ie)

9030595690305958Tony Rochford, from Trim Co Meath with supporters outside the Dail yesterday afternoon.

Mr Rochford is on hunger strike to protest  the property tax. He is being charged €495 charged on his home – a figure he says is based on the €430,000 he paid for the property in 2008 and not on current valuation.

But it is the least of his worries.

As he explained on day 10 of the strike:


(Sasko Lazarov/Photocall Ireland)


Bewildered Student writes:

“Just came across this and thought it was timely. It’s from a book called Politics In the Republic of Ireland, edited by John Coakley and Michael Gallagher. It’s from a chapter called ‘Interest Groups In The Policy-Making Process’ by Professor Gary Murphy, who is chairman of the ‘Keep-but-reform-the-Seanad’ campaign group Democracy Matters.”


You have 24 hours.


The Revenue Commissioners had received 1.1m completed payments from a total of 1.66m residential property owners by last Friday evening, leaving 560,000 tax bills still unpaid.
…the new tax has been mired in controversy from the outset, as bungling tax chiefs admitted to a number of errors in their records which were passed on to householders.
Variations in the valuation of homes for the contentious tax have also been heavily criticised. Amounts have differed by as much as four bands depending on which assessment is used, leaving householders even more baffled about how to decide what their home is worth.
In other reported cases, different property tax valuations have been sent to two co-owners of the same house.


Over 500,000 have still not paid property tax (Irish Examiner)

(Sam Boal/Photocall Ireland)