Relief as property tax changes delayed for a year

Relief as property tax changes delayed for a year

Local Property Tax (LPT) rates for householders are to be frozen for another year the Government decided late last night.

Homeowners won’t see any change in their LPT bills until 2021, and tens of thousands of householders who currently benefit from exemptions will continue to do so for another year. The decision means any changes to LPT will be pushed beyond the next general election which is expected by summer 2020 at the latest.

Fianna Fáil’s finance spokesman Michael McGrath argued it’s “a classic example” of “kicking the can down the road”. He claimed it was “about the electoral cycle” and was a sign of “weak government”.

Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe briefed Cabinet on his department’s long-awaited review of the LPT. At present LPT rates are based on 2013 valuations.

There have been fears that the tax will increase significantly due to rising house prices if the way LPT is calculated is not changed. It was due to be re-evaluated in November.

The department’s review group presented five alternative methods of calculation to the current regime, each of which would have different ‘winners’ and ‘losers’ in terms of how they would affect households. Mr Donohoe is referring the group’s report to the Budgetary Oversight Committee for its consideration in a bid to get cross-party consensus. He last night said his aim was that any increases “should be modest, affordable and fair”.

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