Local Property Tax needs to be reviewed – Brophy

-   Colm Brophy TD

Newly appointed Chairman of the Committee on Budgetary Oversight, Colm Brophy TD has said the country’s local authorities don’t need a major cash windfall from any future local property tax changes and homeowners need to be protected from severe hikes.

Introduced in 2013, the Local Property Tax is based on the market value of relevant properties.  The rate is due to be reviewed next year (2019) and homeowners fear they will be subjected to major tax increases.

However, Deputy Brophy said, “City and county councils across the country do not need a substantial increase on their income from the six year old tax.”

“Homeowners should not face any hikes based on a dysfunctional market which has seen property values increase at varying rates nationwide.”

Deputy Brophy believes that you can’t impose a massive tax hike onto people without any consideration of their income.

The Dublin South-West TD said Local Property Tax is one of several areas of taxation and budgetary oversight he intends to cover in the committee in 2018.

Deputy Brophy said: “It is my intention that the committee will fully investigate the Local Property Tax in its current form. I think we need to have a fully tease out how the LPT works in practice.

“We are looking at the prospect of some homes in the Dublin area increasing by up to 3 bands when the LPT homes pay is reviewed in 2019. Other areas of the country have also seen their home value increase significantly.

“I believe tax should be just and Local Property Tax as it currently stands needs substantial recalibration.

“I don’t believe that people should be penalised due to issues of housing supply distorting the property market. For many people, substantial increases in the LPT will be completely unaffordable.

“It is my own personal view that our local authorities don’t need an income bonanza, based on an unequitable tax.

“Hard pressed homeowners face enough pressures without being penalised for their house shooting up in value, something completely beyond their control.

“I want to see the committee submit proposals to the Department of Finance to allow the impacts of house prices to be mitigated by a new system for calculating taxes due by individual households.

“I look forward to the Minister for Finance, Paschal Donohoe appearing before the committee early in the New Year, so we can explore these issues and work towards balanced solutions,” the Fine Gael TD said.

The Committee on Budgetary Oversight was established in July 2016 to enhance the role of the Oireachtas in the budgetary formation process. The purpose of the Committee is to review the macro-economic and fiscal issues that form part of budget considerations.

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