Fianna Fáil Finance spokesperson has called on the Minister for Finance Michael Noonan to publish the Thornhill report on the revaluation date for the Local Property Tax.

Deputy McGrath commented, “Reports today indicate that the Thornhill report has been delivered to the Minister for Finance and sets out a number of options to deal with the looming property tax hike. These include taking the average property valuation over the period 2013 – 2016, staggering the impact of the increase over a number of years period after 2016 and widening the valuation bands from €50,000 to €100,000.

“Publishing the report now will allow a full national debate on the best course of action to be taken. It would not be acceptable for the Minister to come to the Dáil on budget day and present his proposals as a fait accompli.

“The scale of the problem that needs to be addressed is clear. According to CSO data house published in June, prices in Dublin have risen by 40% in the 25 months since the last valuation date while apartment prices have risen by 50%. Nationally prices have risen by over 25% since May of 2013.

“For most properties, the effect of moving up one valuation band is an extra €90 per year. Homeowners could see their home rise by three or four valuation bands adding up to €360 to their bill.

“The LPT yielded €491m in 2014. The estimated figure for 2015 is €440 million as some local authorities have implemented a reduction of up to 15%. The additional revenue that would be generated from a revaluation is likely to be in the order of €120m – €150m. There is simply no justification for a tax increase of this level.

“There is also an issue that needs to be addressed in relation to new properties built in the last 3 years. Currently new properties purchased between 1 January 2013 and 31 October 2016 are exempt from LPT until the end of 2016. This was done as an incentive to encourage people to purchase a home when the market was in a slump.

“From 2017 these households will be liable and it would appear they will have to pay based on their value in 2016. This is due to them not having a property valuation assigned to them in 2013. While these home owners benefitted from being exempt for up to 3 years they may end up paying 40% more in 2017 based on the increase in property prices in the meantime. This should be addressed to ensure equity in the system.”