Seanad debates

Friday, 16 July 2021

Finance (Local Property Tax) (Amendment) Bill 2021: Committee and Remaining Stages

 

9:30 am

Photo of Alice-Mary HigginsAlice-Mary Higgins (Independent)

I completely agree with Senator Ward's point about discretion. It would result in much less of a binary discussion every year if local authorities had the flexibility to be able to determine the level of reduction to a decent degree. Rather than having the blunt 15%, a more nuanced tool would have been welcome.

On the higher level, I am not picking out these; these were the examples that were picked out. I have a concern over people's perception of progression and progressivity in tax as well as the fact of progressivity in tax. It is not helpful to have the Tánaiste talking about certain properties in specific neighbourhoods and saying the amount they will be paying in local property tax will reduce when he is talking about houses valued at €600,000, €675,000 or €1.6 million. That was for a targeted audience at a particular time but it is not useful. That is why we want to ensure we have progressivity.

I also have concerns that the progressivity peters out just below €2 million. What about a property worth €3 million or €4 million? The reality is that we have properties with such values. We talked at length about the exemptions at the bottom of the scale but we should also look at the exceptions at the top. We will probably come to it later, but that is why I believe those who own multiple properties might need to be placed in a band of their own at the top.

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