Press Release: Property Tax Must Be a Local Tax for Local Services

Property Tax Must Be a Local Tax for Local Services

Property Tax Must Be a Local Tax for Local Services

President of Mullingar Chamber of Commerce Mr. Pat Whelan has called for the introduction of an equitable property tax that is collected locally and used to fund local services. His call comes following a submission made by Chambers Ireland to the Inter Departmental Group on Property Tax.

Mr. Whelan said, “as the household charge is an interim measure, it is vital that when the property taxation system is eventually rolled out, it is used to fund the provision of local services.”

“The tax must be transparently and directly linked to the costs of running the local Government system. If the tax is structured exclusively to fund local services, then this will greatly enhance its acceptability while also assisting in the reform and consolidation of the Local Government system. It should also be delivered in the context of ensuring local stakeholder input into how those services are invested and funded.”

“The property tax must be introduced in such a way that it takes into account ability to pay and ensures regional fairness. One way to achieve this would be to ‘band’ properties together by comparing houses within the same local authority area. If these ‘bands’ are determined locally then they would underpin the objective of maintaining an appropriately structured local government system that is sustainably and locally funded.”

“When the full property tax is put in place, consideration must be given to those who bought properties at boom time prices and paid very significant stamp duties with high linked mortgage debt as a result. In this context, an appropriately capped temporary exemption for those citizens affected by this could be of great help to this discrete group of domestic property owners,” Whelan concluded.

Ends

Notes to Editor

The core principles for how the tax must be applied include:

  1. Be a ‘local tax for local services.’
  2. Be fairly applied in that everyone should contribute something.
  3. Broaden the revenue base of local government and, in turn, lead to a reduction in the pressure on the business community via rates and other charges.
  4. It should be equitable.
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