Thursday, 16 November 2023
Department of Finance
124. To ask the Minister for Finance if he will address concerns that the residential zoned land tax is being applied in a manner not intended by the legislation underpinning it, specifically that it is giving rise to punitive financial challenges for religious orders, including enclosed religious orders that are in possession of land that enables them to live in an enclosed way; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [50339/23]
Finance Act 2021 introduced Part 22A Residential Zoned Land Tax (RZLT) into the Taxes Consolidation Act 1997. RZLT is designed to prompt residential development by owners of land that is zoned for residential or mixed-use (including residential) purposes and that is serviced.
The legislation underpinning RZLT requires local authorities to consider whether land meets the relevant criteria for the tax, being land that is zoned for residential use, serviced and not excluded from the relevant criteria, and to publish maps identifying land within the scope of the tax.
All 31 local authorities in the State published draft maps by 1 November 2022 and, where appropriate, local authorities published supplemental maps reflecting land which falls within the scope of the tax, but which had not been included in the draft maps, by 1 April 2023.
Owners of land which appeared on the draft or supplemental maps were provided with an opportunity to make submissions regarding whether their land met the relevant criteria. Where a local authority determined that land subject to such submissions did meet the relevant criteria, the legislation afforded the landowner an opportunity to appeal the local authority determination to An Bord Pleanála. In addition, owners of land which appeared on the draft or supplemental maps also had an opportunity to request the rezoning of their land.
Decisions on whether to amend zonings as a result of submissions or at any other time are a matter for the local authority, taking into account the need to ensure that housing supply targets across the local authority's functional area can be met.
To ensure that affected landowners have sufficient opportunity to engage with the mapping process and that a fair and transparent process is applied when local authorities consider what land should be placed on the RZLT maps, amendments to Part 22A TCA 1997, included in Finance (No. 2) Bill 2023, propose to extend the liability date of the tax by one year.
This will allow for the planned 2024 review of the final map to be published by local authorities on 1 December 2023 next to take place. It will also afford all parties (including religious orders) with a further opportunity to make submissions challenging whether land meets the relevant criteria and to make rezoning requests, in respect of land included on the draft revised final map for 2025, which is to be published by local authorities by 1 February 2024.
Submissions challenging the inclusion of land on RZLT maps by reference to the relevant criteria must be made to local authorities by 1 April 2024; local authorities will issue written determinations regarding submissions made by landowners by 1 July 2024. Landowners who are dissatisfied with the determination issued by local authorities in respect of their land may appeal same to An Bord Pleanála by 1 August 2024.
Subject to the passing of Finance (No.2) Bill 2023, landowners (including religious orders) will also have the opportunity to request a change to the zoning of lands which appear on the draft revised final map for 2025 by 31 May 2024. On receipt of a request for rezoning, the local authority will evaluate the request and confirm in writing by 31 July 2024 whether the request is rejected, or whether the local authority proposes to make a variation to the development plan for the functional area in which the land in question is situated, on foot of the request.