A new “household charge” is planned to be introduced in Ireland from January 2012 – it was announced by Environment Minister Phil Hogan yesterday.
This Household Charge is an interim measure until a fully working Property Tax system is put in place. The property tax can’t be fully implemented until the government have put in place a property valuation system .
See here for More Details of the new Household Charge in Ireland
The amount of this household charge will be the same for every property – but the actual amount is not yet known. There will be exemptions or reductions it seems – for those on very low incomes or on social welfare. It is not yet clear if the charge will apply only to home owners or if tenants will also be expected to pay it. Clarification on how second homes will be treated is also required – these non principal residences are already liable for the NPPR.
A property tax or Council Tax has been in operation in England for many years.
In England the average annual Council Tax in 2008 was £1,146. The total Council Tax collected in 2006/2007 in England amounted to £22.4 billion.
The cost of administering the council tax was just over £600 million.
Ireland still doesn’t have a national property database or even a postcode system to help identify houses – so it is difficult to see how a property tax system could be fully implemented here without long delays and probably significant expense.
The Fine Gael – Labour program for government did mention both a property charge and a water charge being fast tracked.
Before the election – Fine Gael said they would hand over the choice on property taxes to the local authorities. Local authorities could opt not to increase local taxes, increase local charges for waste and services or introduce a ‘‘site sale profits tax”.
The idea of a property tax was mentioned in the IMF/ECB agreed Four Year Plan – where Fianna Fail comitted to A ” site value tax” to be introduced in 2012 – with a minimum charge of €100 per property.