Donohoe promises ‘modest’ local property tax rise

Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe has said changes to the local property tax will be “modest, understandable and affordable” when they kick in next year.

Donohoe promises ‘modest’ local property tax rise

This is despite repeated calls from the IMF and other international oversight agencies for the Government to increase the rate as a way of broadening the country’s tax base. Mr Donohoe said he understood mounting public anxiety around the local property tax rates as current rates are due for review this year.

Were the same criteria to be reapplied, houseowners across the country would face substantial increases in their bills. However, Mr Donohoe, speaking at Fine Gael’s party meeting in Dublin yesterday, said no such spikes to bills will occur.

“I am well aware the effect higher house values could have on future local property tax liability.

“It is obvious while people’s incomes have grown, they have not grown in line with the rise in house prices. So any change to the local property tax will be moderate, understandable and affordable,” he said.

Mr Donohoe is due to receive a review on the local property tax by the end of March, which will form the basis of his decision to be sent to Cabinet for approval thereafter.

“There is a review of the operation of the local property tax under way, that has been under way for a number of months.

“The timetable for that was that I would receive that report by the end of the first quarter which I will do. That will inform decisions which I will then bring to Government about the operation of the local property tax for next year,” he said.

“This is a matter I have to take to Cabinet and get agreement. Any change will be ones that are affordable and understandable. I understand the anxiety felt by people and I will bring proposals forward which will deliver the clarity on this issue,” he said.

“I will be bringing proposals in a timely manner. I will put in place changes which will make the local property tax affordable in a way that is fair to everybody,” he said.

Meanwhile, chief whip Sean Kyne said it is his intention to introduce a Brexit omnibus bill to the Dáil by the end of February and to have it passed through the Oireachtas by the middle of March.

He said should extra late night sittings will be needed to pass the bill in time for the Brexit deadline, then he will make the necessary contact with the business committee to ensure it happens.

“We anticipate the Brexit omnibus bill, which will encompass 17 separate pieces of legislation.

“That bill would be published by the end of February and debated in the Dáil and Seanad and have it passed by the middle of March,” said Mr Kyne.

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