Fianna Fáil’s Representative for the Naas area, James Lawless, has this week written to the Minister for Housing seeking exemptions against the property tax for up to 85 Kildare states in line with maintenance records he received last year under the Freedom Of Information acts.
“As we now know Kildare County Council gave an order last year that 85 estates, not taken in charge, be removed from the maintenance regime, so that when the lights went out, they stayed out, in all of those estates. Broken bulbs would not be replaced and maintenance services were suspended” explained James.
“I have now written to the Department of Environment seeking exemptions against the Property Tax for all of the affected estates.I think it is a bit much to ask people to pay a property tax for local services when they are looking out at broken lights and dark streets. In some cases residents are paying privately for their maintenance, others have a management company in place and some are not being maintained at all by anyone. Where there are management companies in place some townhouses are paying up to €700 a year for private services yet the government want to hit them again supposedly to pay for services which they are not even receiving in these estates” said James.
“Under section 10(4) of the Finance (Local Property Tax) Act 2012 there is a provision for estates deemed ‘unfinished’ to be exempted from the property charge. As the council evidently considers these estates unfinished it seems a fair assumption that no property taxes should be levied on them. It is not the council who decides however but the government and while a very small number of Kildare estates were exempted from the household charge last year, that list of exemptions bore little resemblance to realities on the ground in many cases. I want to make sure this error is not repeated and that the 2013 list is based on reality and drawn up with local consultation. The Minister for Housing is currently compiling the list of exempted estates and I have written to her to request exemptions for these estates and to share my records of the situation in each case” James continued.
“Last year’s exemption list appeared to be based as much pot luck as on reality.”
“The residents of these estates are compliant citizens. In the great many cases they paid their household charge and then found out they were cutoff from services regardless. If the estates are unfinished and not being maintained surely they cannot be held liable for the property tax. I look forward to the Minister’s response and hope that logic and fairness will see these estates, and others like them, exempted” concluded James.