Changes to the Local Property Tax are expected in the coming months.
Speaking to The Sunday Independent yesterday, Minister for Housing Eoghan Murphy said bills should no longer be solely based on the value of homes and admitted the annual charge needs to be reformed.
The Minister said the current property tax system is unfair on homeowners and needs to be significantly changed.
I would like to see a more fundamental change to how the local property tax is calculated, to one that isn’t linked exclusively to the perceived market value of a home,” he told the Sunday Independent.
Minister for Transport Shane Ross has also called for waivers to be introduced for older people who live in expensive homes but could have a fixed source of income and may be “pension poor”.
Property tax will move centre stage this week, when Minister Murphy holds his first meeting with Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe to review the controversial charge, which is seen as deeply unfair on urban homeowners, particularly those in Dublin.
Property tax bills are four times higher in parts of Dublin than in more rural parts of the country.
One in every three euro in property tax raised last year was paid to the four Dublin local authorities.
It is understood one of the new models being actively considered is the introduction of a nationwide property tax “banding” system, whereby factors such as location and local authority services would be taken into account when calculating how much homeowners should pay, rather than just the market price of property in the area.
“I think solely having a tax that is linked to a perceived market value of a home isn’t going to be fair on the homeowner in terms of their ability to pay, but neither will it necessarily meet the needs of the local authority in terms of its funding.
“So we are looking at new ways of potentially funding the local authorities using the property tax,” the minister said.
This coming Wednesday is the deadline for homeowners to notify the Revenue Commissioner of their intention to pay the charge by credit card, debit card or cheque.
This is the last year of property tax payments before the freeze on rates expires in 2019.