Flooding victims not allowed revalue homes for lower property tax

Flooding victims coping with damaged homes will not be allowed revalue their homes for lower property taxes, Finance Minister Michael Noonan has confirmed.

Revenue chiefs have also told the Irish Examiner that — despite Government suggestions the taxes could be reduced downwards — there would be no decreases because of flooding.

Several ministers, including Mr Noonan, previously said during ‘Storm Desmond’ that homeowners should submit a new valuation for property taxes, which are self-assessed. Mr Noonan said then it was “already within the legal base of the property tax to allow householders to deal with reducing values from any extraneous event including flooding”.

Tánaiste Joan Burton also suggested earlier this month that homeowners hit by severe flooding may be able to look again at valuing their property.

But, in a written parliamentary answer, Mr Noonan has now ruled out such an option.

Michael Noonan
Michael Noonan

In the Dáil reply to Fianna Fáil finance spokesman Michael McGrath, he says: “The declared valuation is not affected by any repairs or improvements made to a property or by any general increase or decrease in property prices that might occur over the course of the valuation period.”

He confirmed on the Dáil record that “the current valuation date of 1 May 2013 is now valid until 31 October 2019 on foot of the recent legislative amendment”.

This means there will be no changes to valuations — and therefore property taxes — until the stated period in the legislation, unless the Dail agrees to fresh amendments. The Revenue Commissioners also confirmed this yesterday, when contacted by the Irish Examiner.

“The valuation is not affected by any repairs or improvements made to a property or by any general increase or decrease in property prices that might occur during the valuation period. There is no provision in the LPT Act to increase or decrease an LPT valuation on the basis of an event such as flooding.”

Michael McGrath
Michael McGrath

Mr McGrath criticised ministers for misleading homeowners struggling with flood damage: “The minister for finance effectively quoted a non-existent provision of Local Property Tax legislation when he claimed that householders could apply for a reduced valuation to take account of the damage to their home.”

He said there was enough time between now and the general election to bring amendments before the Dáil, allowing people to revalue their damaged homes.

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