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  • Northside East

Locals facing property tax uncertainty

Monday, 21st January, 2019 8:00am
Locals facing property tax uncertainty
Locals facing property tax uncertainty

Callum Lavery

THOUSANDS of Northside homeowners are braced for a rise in their Local Property Tax (LPT) bill unless changes are made to the unpopular levy.

Some families may face annual bills of more than €500 as property tax rates are set to soar since their introduction in 2013. 

The original rates were based on the market value of their homes in 2013. The average cost of a home in Dublin North East then was just over €220,000 leading to a €390 bill being incurred.  

However, the latest housing price data from the Central Statistics Office (CSO) has shown an average increase of €132,125 in Dublin North East meaning an average bill of around €535 for people in this area. 

Among the hardest hit could be residents of Dublin 1 with bills possibly rising from €225 to €420, and Dublin 13 with a rise from €405 to €650. Dublin 17 could be among the areas least affected with only a €29 increase from €315 to €344.  

The Local Property Tax is assessed at 0.18 percent of the property’s market value. It is designed to fund local services and replaces direct exchequer funding for local authorities.

Dublin Fingal TD and Fianna Fáil’s Spokesperson for Housing, Darragh O’Brien, said his party has written a detailed submission outlining their opposition to any tax increases as part of the Local Property Tax review. 

“There has been an inexplicable delay in completing this review and establishing proposals around the future of the tax itself,” said Deputy O’Brien. 

“This uncertainty is causing major stress for both homeowners and local authorities nationwide. Families in a number of parts of Dublin are especially anxious given the rapid rise in property price in those areas since this tax was first introduced six years ago.

“Those affected don’t know whether to preempt a rise by making cutbacks now to their household budget or to plough ahead as is but then face a costly bill of close to €500.”

Deputy O’Brien said a key strand of Fianna Fáil’s policy in this area is affordability.

“But with revaluations set to take place this November, reforms must be made to avoid large increases,” he added. 

“It would be only fair, proportionate and transparent for Government to provide some certainty at this point. 

“In order to protect people from large increases, the current LPT revenue yield should be maintained.”

In a statement, a spokesperson for the Department of Finance said: “The report of the review of the LPT is currently being finalised by officials in the Department of Finance and will be presented to the Minister shortly. 

“The report is being prepared in conjunction with the Departments of the Taoiseach, Public Expenditure and Reform, Housing Planning and Local Government, and the Office of the Revenue Commissioners.”

The residential property revaluation date is due on November 1. 

“The Government will make its position clear so that households will know well in advance what its plans are for LPT,” the spokesperson added. 

“Minister Donohoe has repeatedly said that any changes will be affordable and will be well flagged in advance.”

Among the options being considered is reducing the rate of the levy below 0.18 percent to limit the tax burden on families while protecting council finances. The exemption for those who bought or built their own home since 2013 will no longer apply, which is expected to result in an additional 10,000 households being liable. 

Read the digital editions of the Dublin People Northside East, Northside West & Southside here