Levy on second homes kept Kerry in the black

A TAX on second homes netted the exchequer almost €133 million in two years, and kept at least one local authority in the black.

Kerry was among the top three county councils to benefit from the proceeds of a €200 annual charge in respect of all residential property not used as the owner’s sole or main residence. There are more than 316,000 such properties nationally.

Figures from the Department of the Environment show that since the levy was introduced in 2009, Dublin City Council, with more than 58,000 second homes, raked in more than €24m.

Of the city councils, Cork came next, earning almost €5m on more than 12,000 second homes.

The highest-earning county councils included:

* Cork County Council, where the tax pulled in almost €11m on close to 26,000 second homes.

* Fingal County Council, which earned €6.7m on 15,680 homes in the same two-year period.

* Kerry County Council, where almost €6m was collected.

Kerry was one of just three county council areas where the number of second homes increased marginally between 2009 and 2010, from 14,363 to 14,402. North Tipperary and Westmeath also registered slight increases.

John O’Connor, Kerry County Council’s head of finance, said the tax had kept Kerry in the black during “the very, very challenging conditions” of the past two years.

The millions secured from the non-principal private residence levy had ensured it was one of the few local authorities to have cash reserves (€2.5m) without cutting services, Mr O’Connor said.

He told the monthly meeting of county councillors that more than €4m had been collected on the tax in Kerry since it was introduced and that the principal towns in Kerry had netted an additional €2m.


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