Written answers

Thursday, 4 December 2014

Department of Finance

Property Taxation Exemptions

Photo of Tommy BroughanTommy Broughan (Dublin North East, Independent)
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69. To ask the Minister for Finance if his attention has been drawn to the difficulties being experienced by some homeowners who have been trying to claim an exemption from liability for the local property tax due to their homes having significant pyrite damage and the onerous requirements imposed on such homeowners in terms of having to provide costly engineering and other professional reports in support of their application for an exemption from tax. [46581/14]

Photo of Michael NoonanMichael Noonan (Limerick City, Fine Gael)
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I confirm that I am aware of the anomaly to which the Deputy refers, and that officials of my Department, together with officials of the Department of Environment, Community & Local Government, are examining the alternatives other than testing that may be available in order to confirm entitlement to a Local Property Tax (LPT) exemption.  I am conscious that the issue to which the Deputy refers needs to be addressed and I want to assure the Deputy, and those homeowners affected, that this issue is receiving attention. 

Section 10A of the Finance (Local Property Tax) Act 2012 (as amended) provides for a temporary exemption of at least three consecutive years from the charge to Local Property Tax (LPT) for residential properties that have been certified under Regulations made by the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government (S.I. No. 147 of 2013) as having "significant pyritic damage". These Regulations describe the methodology that must be used when a property is being assessed for pyrite damage.

Unless and until the LPT legislation is changed, Revenue has an obligation to act in accordance with section 10A of the LPT legislation which requires that an LPT exemption can only apply where the residential property has been assessed and a certificate confirming "significant pyritic damage" has been issued.

I expect to make a decision as regards alternatives shortly, that will be consistent with the original objectives of the legislation, and the report of the Pyrite Panel, and I will communicate my decision to the Deputy immediately it is made.

It is important that any changes that may be made do not go beyond the objectives of providing a temporary exemption for homes with "significant pyritic damage" only. As I have advised on many occasions in the past, a liability to LPT should apply to all owners of residential property with a limited number of exemptions.  Limiting the exemptions available allows the rate of the tax to be kept low for those liable persons who do not qualify for an exemption.


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