The suggestion of a possible introduction of a property tax has taken up more newspaper space again today. During yesterdays Dáil meeting Taoiseach Brian Cowen told the Government that he has still made no firm decisions on whether or not to introduce a property tax in the next budget. He commented that such a move / introduction would require “major structural changes in the taxation system”.
Along with many other TDs, leader of Fine Gael Enda Kenny took no prisoners yesterday and asked the Taoiseach for a “Yes” or “No” answer and said by not clarifying or confirming whether the tax would be introduced or not implied that the idea has not been ruled out. He said that the whole idea of the tax was grossly unfair and that “there is plenty of scope to reduce borrowing without the introduction of a property tax”. He also referred to how no less than 10 recommendations had been made in the McCarthy report on how to reduce spending and only one had been implemented.
Sitting on the other side of fence Economist Colm McCarthy said that a property tax should be introduced but if so Stamp Duty should be abolished i.e. the property tax should replace Stamp Duty, “This (Stamp Duty) was the main burden of the commission for taxation report last year, we’d be better off with a regular annual tax… rather than a huge and unstable once-off bill”. Although, would this be fair? How well would this work given the amount of Stamp Duty paid by all homeowners? Do they get an exemption?
If introduced property tax charges could range from €250 to €3,000 depending on the size and location of your home.