Thursday, 5 March 2020
Department of Finance
Property Tax Review
The review of the Local Property Tax was completed by the Department of Finance in conjunction with the Departments of the Taoiseach, Public Expenditure & Reform and Housing, Planning & Local Government and the Revenue Commissioners and the report was published in April last year and is available on the Department of Finance website.
In accordance with its terms of reference, the review focused on the impact of house price movements on LPT liabilities under a series of scenarios involving different rate and tax band structures. The review also included an examination of the outstanding recommendations of the 2015 Thornhill review of the Local Property Tax. It included a consultation process to enable all interested parties and individuals to submit their views on the future of the LPT.
The Review Group found significant but geographically uneven increases in residential property price levels which made it difficult to identify a scenario that would deliver on the condition I set that there should be relative stability for all taxpayers in their LPT liabilities and that any increases should be modest, affordable and fair.
Having considered the findings of the review report, I decided to defer the valuation date from 1st November 2019 to 1st November 2020. This gave sufficient time for the Budgetary Oversight Committee to consider the review report in the context of the Committee’s recommendations in its report on LPT of 21 March 2018. Importantly, as a result of my decision, the LPT bills of those liable for the tax will not be increasing in 2020.
I met with the Committee in June of last year to discuss the review of the Local Property Tax. The Committee also had a separate meeting with officials of the Department of Finance. I received the Committee's scrutiny report on the LPT review in September 2019.
In order to bring this matter forward, amending legislation will be required and this will need to be in place sufficiently early this year so that the Revenue Commissioners can have the necessary administrative and technical arrangements in place for the 2021 LPT year. This legislation will be a matter for the incoming government.