Farmers must not be unfairly punished with the new Residential Zoned Land Tax (RZLT) that could cost tens of thousands of euros per year, Fine Gael TD Michael Ring has said.
Mayo Deputy Michael Ring has welcomed the Taoiseach’s commitment to coming up with a solution so that farmers are not unfairly targeted with a tax that is due to come into effect next year.
Deputy Ring said: “The residential zoned land tax of 3% aims to release land that could be used for housing in order to stimulate much needed supply.
“But there is a fear that this legislation could have unintended consequences for farmers, who could now face being hit with a tax bill of up to €60,000 on land that will be designated as zoned for housing.
“It is outrageous that a full-time farmer that didn’t ask for his land to be zoned would now be on the hook for a tax on land for which is not intended for housing, but is being used by them for agricultural production purposes.
“I have been raising this issue with Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and Government in the last number of weeks and I’m pleased that the Taoiseach has recognised that there is a problem.
“The Fine Gael leader said he would work with Ministerial colleagues to fix the zoned land tax issue, which has the potential to affect people who are not land hoarders and were not the intended target of the tax.
“These include people who sought to get the zoning of their farmland corrected but were refused; developers that have planning permission but it is on appeal or in the courts; and land where it is zoned for residential development but cannot be developed in the short to medium term.
“My colleague , Mayo Councillor Tom Connolly, has also done a body of work in trying to rectify this issue for farmers who are rightly concerned about being liable for another large tax bill. I am pleased now that this issue will be examined, as farmers must be exempt from the residential land zoned tax.
“Local authorities should also facilitate and make it easier for farmers to ensure that their land is correctly zoned. Either way, farmers need clarity and I would be calling on stakeholders to work together and provide that to them without delay,” Deputy Ring said