When is a 'mansion tax' not a mansion tax?

I thought it would be interesting to look at the ‘mansion tax’ and post some houses that would be considered by any metric to be a mansion that won’t be paying it. This is just a way to help demonstrate that the idea of a ’super tax’ is a carrot used to make everybody else feel good about getting their bill.

First, the well known singer Shane Filan’s (Westlife) house, described as ‘a magnificent contemporary mansion home with impressive accommodation and almost five acres‘. It is 9,500sqft, has five bedrooms and five bathrooms. The entire second floor comprises a bar and entertainment lounge together with a sun room area, cinema room and a small office. MTV cribs eat your heart out! But at a price of €990,000 it won’t be paying any ‘mansion tax’.

Shane Filan's house in Co Sligo

Or what about the following 12,000sqft house that was the family home of the Jameson family (of whiskey fame). This is a 12 bed, fabulous period house. To buy the actual materials that make up this house would be nearly impossible to do in a modern replication. The property is located in Raheny in Dublin 5. While it does require modernisation and work, it’s still one of the most fabulous buildings you could want to call home. Again, no ‘mansion tax’ as it is listing at a mere €890,000.


Then you have this 6,781sqft mansion in Kerry. It was an architect’s house, on 8 acres with views of Tralee Bay, what a cracking property, is it a mansion? Well, at nearly 8.5 times the size of the average council built house and on a plot that size I’d think it counts. The price tag? €925,000 – no mansion tax!

Barnagh Bridge House

There are countless others, just go to MyHome and look at properties above 800,000 and below 1,000,000 with 7 bedrooms or more. This also doesn’t take into account properties that have already sold, are coming on stream or that are not complete which will aren’t live on the site.

The market value property tax is so ill thought out, but what’s worse is populist political noise that makes it seem like people in certain houses will be particularly punished. To what end? What is the point in that? And why are some of the finest houses in the nation not going to qualify? When a far less spectacular house in South Dublin will? There is no relation to actual costs, there is no relation to common sense, rant over.

For more from Karl visit www.mortgagebrokers.ie

There are 15 comments for this article
  1. Paul at 11:53 am

    Failed politicians after a few years of ‘work’ get pensions that have a value greater than most workers can ever aspire to.

    They make us to bail out the Anglo gamblers.

    They want to impose a ‘broadcasting’ charge, so that RTE can continue to grossly overpay Gay Byrne, Pat Kenny and ‘jaysus wept’ Joe Duffy.

    And a property tax is going to be imposed on people like me who do not waste money on cigarettes, booze and skiing holidays, but instead choose to use hard earned money to improve my living accommodation!

    First chance I get, I’m out here!

  2. Rita Boyle at 9:59 am

    I heard the news in work , the first thing that I thought was that’s for all the rich , wonder how long it took our government to think that one up Here we go again the lower paid will have to pay for them again. my wages of 20,000 had a 12% cut two years ago I struggle to live and yes I have to pay a mortgage of 972.00 a month and every day bills.Kenny when are you going to stop .you can CRY all you like I would never believe a word out of you mouth just lie after lie

  3. Tom at 10:53 pm

    So what? Shane flans home is on the market for less than 1 million. It’s in Sligo f all places, so are you really surprised? The real shocker about Shane filan is how the uk courts allowed themselves to be taken in by this guy. He’s the lead singer in one of the most successful bot bands of all time but 20 million is too much for hs potential??? Come on, are we really fools? Of course, a fellow band mate is married to a politician who has connections to the political e.ite in the uk. And a couple months after Shane is declared bankrupt, Louis Walsh states on Irish television that west life and shame have a bright future ahead of them.

    Are they taking the mick, r do they think we are thick? Or do they realize that the ordinary joke that is made puck up the tab has nowhere to turn?

  4. desmond connolly at 9:15 pm

    ithink anybody paying managment fees should not have to pay property tax there is never any word of the goverment about this fianna fail destroyed the country and fin and labour are trying their best to fix the mess as i said before some people should be held accountable for this and money taking away from their big pensions the way i think is start at the top down instead of the bottom up it hard to comment on the mansion tax yours des

  5. Terence O’Connor at 4:45 pm

    The Country I grew up in is now Rotten to the Core. Any respect I had for our Governing Body has died the death. I have no loyality left for my homeland Land. Very sad.
    Threats by Revenue CEO states she will ensure that Taxes will attach to the Ordinary folks Bank Accounts, yet she is creating Excuses and Exibiting Fear about “going after” those TDs., Bankers and Developers who cry Bankruptcy.

    Our Country’s policy now is to get the Eu members (German&French) to pat our TDs. on the head and say”What good fellows they are.

    All my voting in future will be in Protest.

  6. Kevin at 2:56 pm

    The Property Tax is a misnomer, it should really be called the Town & City Tax or alternatively, the Urban Dwellers Tax, for Urban Dwellers are going to pay the vast majority of every Euro it raises, while rural dwellers in similar sized houses and often, with similar sized incomes, will pay far less.

  7. Mac at 2:47 pm

    I’m selling up and moving on at the moment in negative equity of about 50K. The bank don’t give a damn and nobody will talk to me about a discount. If I was the type not to pay my mortgage and not to cut back I’d get every sympathy.. So I’m selling up and will probably have to do a runner.. I’ve paid every debt in my life over the last 35 years but when I see the high and mighty get off, knowing in my boots they they will be looked after and have a stash somewhere I see Ireland hasn’t changed.. Maybe there is a reason it’s called the auld sod..
    And Paddy is right Dublin has been sponsoring the begrudgers beyond the pale since forever.. Time to go.

  8. John Joseph mcDermott at 1:40 pm

    If everyone refuses to self assess, the Revenue will be busy for a few years trying to start from scratch.
    When they finally send you their assessment, just boycott it.
    What have you to lose.??
    “There is nothing to fear-but fear itself”

  9. Patrick at 1:38 pm

    OK So, they have us at it again, the Dubs, vs the Rest.I am sure we provide a great curtain raiser to the real issue, or indeed issues. Why the hell we do not once and for all,open one eye and see things for what they are. One Law for the families behind the scene, the ones who pay our so called democratically elected get me in and I will change everything puppets ? or Deputies ? Deputizing for whom ? Ah No No,This is when they do as they are told, and we do as they say under duress and the threat of all kinds of legislative powers, bestowed upon themselves, least we raise our little heads above the parapet.You know it has not changed in at least the last 2000 years,and I doubt it ever will. What were we talking about? Oh yes the Dubs vs the poor country folk who pay for everything,and the Dubs,? Well yas always had it good up dare dident yas. Serious lets focus on where we are going, tax tax tax da Poor and mind da bankers and bond holders, for where would we be without them,? and they givin us all dat lovely euro money.
    A voice once said to me Smile and Be HAPPY,things could be worse, could they \? So I SMILED and behold things did get worse. Anyway that lovely man from them big offices in foregin parts I tink his nane Barousa not to be confused with that ould fella in Italy, who is still after the young ones ? votes.Anyway he is tellin us, No, not him,the other one that if we just pay sorry bleed a bit more, we will be ok. I could tell him we have no bleedin more to give.

  10. Murph at 12:18 pm

    just another way for a rapacious State to gouge the same people yet again – and of course we have Pet Rabbitte’s answer to the property tax coming shortly, the digital tax, mandatory for every house whether you have TV/Electronic devises or not!

  11. Cillian at 12:03 pm

    This article demonstrates the unfairness in the property tax. I live in a small two bed terraced house in Dublin that is reasonable close to the city centre. We are well over €200k in negative equity – this means that our bank will not allow us to sell the property – thankfully we are able to pay our mortgage but we will never receive any write downs. On paper the house could be valued at ~€200k – so we could be paying €400 annually for the luxury of having a 35 year mortgage.
    It was never going to be easy to create a fair property tax system – some groups will always be harder hit than others. In my case, i find it extremely unfair that i am required to pay €400 on a tiny (<100 square meters!). There is, to some degree, a choice whether to pay or not. (e.g. i can decide not to buy alcohol and so will not pay any tax on this, i can decide not to work and so will not pay any tax on this, etc). With this property tax i have no choice – because i cannot sell the property (negative equity) i will be liable.
    At one point the size of the property was going to be used to determine the property tax. This seemed reasonable. A large house, like those shown in the article, will have a greater impact on the environment (ongoing running of the house, building the house, etc) than my (tiny) house ever will.
    The FG government have really failed a large number of people who are in the same situation as myself. I know that the other parties may not have faired any better. It really angers me when i hear Noonan suggest that it is an ‘equitable’ tax.

  12. Ronan O Siochain at 11:52 am

    Makes my blood boil….very ordinary houses in Malahide were selling a few years ago for more than these “Mansions”.

  13. sholta at 11:51 am

    Well stated..

  14. Paddy at 11:51 am

    Nothing new here; stick it to that D4 bunch! Dublin residents have been subsidizing the country folk since the beginning of taxation as the country squires dodged tax where possible. Irish farm incomes were tax free for most of history, pre and post the foundation of the Irish state, only being taxed in recent decades. Years back my girlfriend received a 100% grant to attend college while the child of one of the laborers on her father’s very substantial farm was turned down due to his dad’s meager income being over the limit.

  15. Olivia Brooks at 11:50 am

    This just proves to me what i always thought that the big boys will always look after themselves cause they are the ones that can afford to have these substantial homes while the rest of the normal class citizens who are doing their level best to keep the quite moderate homes over their already over burdened heads. We end up paying for their lavish lifestyles whiel at this present moment in time we are finding it hard to provide heat/electricity in our family homes. It angers me to think that they can get away with this.

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