Fianna Fáil wants to give €300 relief to those paying both property tax and maintenance

Fianna Fáil wants to give a €300 relief to apartment dwellers who pay both property tax and maintenance fees.

Fianna Fáil wants to give €300 relief to those paying both property tax and maintenance

Fianna Fáil wants to give a €300 relief to apartment dwellers who pay both property tax and maintenance fees.

The party's housing spokesperson Darragh O'Brien said many people living in managed estates, apartments and multi-unit developments are currently "paying on the double" for facilities and services.

He said the Management Fees (Local Property Tax) Relief Bill 2018 which was introduced in the Dáil last June would make the property tax system fairer.

“The Local Property Tax, which came into effect in 2013, was intended to fund services in residential developments.

"Many of these residents, about 500,000 people across the country, are effectively paying for some services on the double like road and path maintenance, public lighting and things like that."

The Bill, which was debated in the Dáil last night, provides homeowners who are already paying management fees with a reduction in their property tax bill worth a third of the fee, up to a maximum of €300 per year. The measure would cost the State around €17m.

Fianna Fáil finance spokesman Michael McGrath also called for the immediate publication of the property tax review.

We expected that the outcome should have been revealed in the Budget of last October and that didn't happen.

"It needs to be dealt with this year because the changes will come into effect for 2020 and local authorities need to plan ahead as do householders so they know what kind of a bill they are going to be looking at," said Mr McGrath.

It is expected that homeowners will see changes to the amount they pay from next year after a review of the tax.

Property tax is based on the market value of a house and the increases in house prices in recent years has prompted concerns about the hikes in tax homeowners will have to pay.

Mr O'Brien said: “We remain committed to ensuring there is no increase in the Local Property Tax and that a fairer, more equitable system is put in place when the review of the current rate is published in the coming weeks."

Mr McGrath also said the income threshold to qualify for a deferral of property tax should be increased and that the interest rate of 4% which is applied when a person defers their bill should be brought down.

"I think a modest interest rate should apply, but 4% is a punitive rate particularly in this climate and in our view that should be changed," he said.

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