Higher tax on family home in the pipeline

Gardens, sheds, driveways to be factored into dwelling valuations

Sligo News File

Feeling angry you’re being taxed to the hilt? Well, it looks from reports that there’s worse to come. Now, the government apparently has family homes in its sight again with proposals for yet another major tax grab.

Having just recently revealed plans to raise the iniquitous levy on the family dwelling to a new record high, a further measure now said to be on the way is the taxation of everything associated with the dwelling: the driveway, sheds, lawns, front and back gardens. According to accounts, everything is to be factored into the valuations, inclusions which will inevitably see the tax on the dwelling soar to an impossible level.

Never mind that there are families currently struggling to survive, much less able to pay the huge sums already levied on their home, it seems that this is of no concern to the Fianna Fail, Fine Gael and Green Coalition. All homeowners are reportedly to be forced to shoulder more of the running costs of local councils whose part-time elected members incidentally the government is this year lining up for thousands of a pay increase on top of the existing several thousand representational allowance and expenses they currently receive.

Family home overheads were only recently raised with increased electricity charges, a couple of hundred euro standing charge and PSO levy on the electricity bill; massively increased carbon taxes on coal, gas, turf, heating oil, and VAT on goods pushed back up again from 21% to 23% . 

Minister of State Peter Burke, TD

Responding to a parliamentary question on the family home tax, Fine Gael minister of state Peter Burke said it was a matter for each local council to consider “how it can maximize local income sources and manage its own spending, in the context of the annual budgetary process.”

Elected local authority members, he said, “may decide, as part of that process, to vary the Annual Rateable Value (ARV) and the Local Property Tax (LPT) “in order to increase the revenue available to them.”

Noting that the power to vary the Local Property Tax is “a reserved function” (meaning it is the task of the elected council) he added that local authorities “must balance expenditure priorities against available resources.”

The valuations of all family homes for the purpose of the Local Property Tax are set to be reviewed every four years.

It’s estimated the new taxes on homeowners should raise an extra €560 million.