Fianna Fáil Finance spokesperson Michael McGrath has said the Government must take the opportunity of the Finance Bill this week to scrap the planned increase in property tax bills in two years’ time.
The Government included a provision in the Local Property Tax legislation which provided for a revaluation of properties in 2016. The previous valuation date of May 2013 was close to the point at which property tax values hit their lowest level. Since then property prices have been rising steadily. According to yesterday’s CSO data house prices in Dublin have risen by 37% in the 17 months since the last valuation date while apartment prices have risen by 43%. Nationally prices have risen by 21% since May of last year.
The revaluation process requires the homeowner to make a self-assessed declaration of their property value on 1st November 2016. Failure to do so accurately could lead to significant penalties.
Deputy McGrath stated, “Even if there is a slowing in the current rate of growth in property prices, it is likely that the next valuation date will see homeowners having to revise the valuation basis for their property tax declaration by 20% or more. For some Dublin residents it could be over 50%. For most properties, the effect of moving up one valuation band is an extra €90 per year. Some homeowners could see their home rise by three or four valuation bands adding up to €360 to their bill.
“There is widespread concern already that people will find their water bills rising considerably once metering is fully introduced. The prospect of a further increase in property tax bills represents another threat hanging over households. We know from the manner in which the Government have implemented the local property tax that the funds raised will be syphoned away from the provision of local services for which they were intended. People simply do not believe that paying more in terms of local property tax will lead to any improvement in services,” added Deputy McGrath.
“Fianna Fáil is committed to a review of the property tax which takes account of ability to pay. A massive increase in the tax payable in 2016 is the exact opposite of what households need. The Government should take the opportunity afforded by the Finance Bill to repeal the revaluation in 2016. I have published an amendment to the Finance Act which would give effect to this. Fine Gael backbenchers have been voicing their concerns about this issue in recent times. The most effective way for them to achieve what they say they want to see is to support the amendment that Fianna Fáil is proposing,” Deputy McGrath concluded.
Section 13 of the Finance (Local Property Tax Act) 2012, as amended, provides that the value of residential property, for the purposes of this tax, was fixed for a period of time. The tax payable in each of the years 2013 through 2016 was based on a property’s value on 1 May 2013. The tax payable for 2017 will be based on each property’s value as at 1 November 2016
Finance (Local Property Tax) Act 2012
13.— (1) In this Act the date by reference to which the chargeable value of a relevant residential property is to be established is referred to as the valuation date.
(2) The valuation date in relation to a relevant residential property shall be—
(a) 1 May 2013 for the years 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016, and
(b) for each consecutive 3-year period after the year 2016, 1 November in the year preceding the first year of the particular 3 year period.
(3) The Minister may, by order, alter the valuation date referred to in subsection (2)
Fianna Fáil proposed amendment to Finance Bill:
Amend Section 13 (2) of Finance (Local Property Tax) Act 2012 as follows:
Delete subsection (b) and amend subsection (a) by adding “in each subsequent year until otherwise determined by the Oireachtas.”