Property Tax in Ireland – Expert Group Set Up

The Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government,  Phil Hogan  today announced that he has established an Expert Group to consider the  introduction of a  valuation-based property tax that will replace the current €100 Household Charge.
The Group is due to report back  by the end of April 2012.

The Property Tax expert group will be  chaired by Dr. Don Thornhill  and will be made up of  of senior officials from the Departments of Environment, Community and Local Government; Finance; Public Expenditure and Reform; Communications, Energy and Natural Resources, Social Protection and the Revenue Commissioners. The Group may also call on technical expertise from the Central Statistics Office, An Post/Ordnance Survey Ireland, Property Registration Authority, the Valuation Office, the Property Services Regulatory Authority.

The terms of reference for the group are :

“To consider the design of a property tax to be approved by Government to replace the Household Charge and that is equitable and is informed by previous work and international experience.”

The minister said that any new residential property tax will have to :

· Meet the immediate financial requirements of the EU/IMF programme;

· Provide a stable funding base for the local authority sector in the medium and longer terms incorporating an appropriate element of local authority responsibility subject to any national parameters;

· Ensure the maximum degree of fairness between and across both urban and rural areas

· Be collected centrally by the most cost efficient and effective means;

· Facilitate easy and/or phased payments by households;

· Be easily determined (e.g. on a self assessment basis), and having regard to the information currently available (or to be made available through registrations for the household charge) on residential property and/or house ownership details.

Earlier this month we wrote about How Much The Property Tax Could Be  – with figures of up to €675 a year for houses valued between €150k and €300k

The Chairman – Dr Don Thornhill seems to be involved in several other areas. His board memberships include the National Competitiveness Council (Chair), the Irish Payments Services Organisation (Chair), the Ageing Well Network (Chair), Hibernia College (Chair), the Irish Taxation Institute, the Chartered Accountants Regulatory Board (Deputy Chair), Forfás and the Irish Hospice Foundation.

Previously he was Executive Chairman of the Higher Education Authority, Secretary General of the Department of Education and Science and Assistant Secretary in the Office of the Revenue Commissioners. Don has a B.Sc. and Ph.D. in Chemistry from University College Dublin and a M.Sc. (Econ.) from Trinity College Dublin.