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Changes to Property Tax could be on the way

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Changes to the property tax could be on the way after Housing Minister Eoghan Murphy said he favours a new calculation that is not exclusively based on market value.

Minister Murphy said:”Bills will no longer be based solely on the value of homes, as is the case, when the current billing regime comes to an end in 2019.”

A spokesman for Minister Murphy said he and Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe are to examine a new billing process in the “coming months.”

“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,” Minister Murphy added.

“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,” enthused Minister Murphy.

“I think it is a tax which is very unfair in its implementation and very unfair to people living in Dublin,” concluded  Minister Eoghan Murphy.

Meanwhile, the Independent Alliance said the charge is in “crying need,” of reform.

New figures released by the Revenue Commissioners this week show that €477m was collected in property tax last year, with a 97% compliance rate.

One third of the amount was paid by those living in the capital.

The average amount paid in some areas of Dublin was four times higher than in rural areas.

The property tax came into force in 2013.

The self-assessed charge, collected by the Revenue Commissioners, is linked to the property value.The Government has committed to examining the tax this year.

The Transport Minister and Independent Alliance member Shane Ross described the current tax as “perverse and crude,” and that waivers need to be given to older people on lower incomes who live in high-value homes.

The Green Party has welcomed a review of the charge.

Leader Eamon Ryan said the Programme for Government suggests replacing it with a site tax and that this would make more sense.

He said such a measure would encourage development and help ease the housing crisis.

Fianna Fáil described the current system as punitive and said it will co-operate with any examination of the issue.

“The Government needs to move swiftly and no more time should be lost on examining ways to reform property tax,” said Fianna Fáil’s spokesman Michael McGrath.

Sources: Various