Leitrim councillor expresses fears over property tax

Leitrim councillor expresses fears over property tax

Cllr Sean McSharry

A councillor from County Leitrim has aired his fears that the forthcoming property tax will drive struggling households deeper into the poverty trap.

Cllr Sean McSharry asked: “How can a government ask homeowners to give an honest evaluation on homes that are in serious negative equity compared to the purchase price valuation?”

Quoted in the Leitrim Observer, he said: “If the household charge is to be an indicator with over 600,000 as of September 30 failing to register, it therefore looks certain that the government are intent on repeating the mistakes of the past, by losing the support of its citizens.”

Cllr McSharry pointed out that the IMF’s draconian taxes have done nothing but squeeze the life out of family homes. It suggested a figure of €600 per household to raise €1 billion and bring Ireland in line with other Eurozone countries. However the Eurozone model cannot be compared to Ireland given that the Eurozone housing market is made up of long term renting.

He said that the government getting praise from the IMF and European leaders is utterly useless to people who are going to be punished with a property tax. With growth forecasts next year going from 2.2% to 1.4% he insisted the tax will kill off any hope of a property market revival.

Cllr McSharry pointed to the recent comments by the finance ministers of Germany, the Netherlands and Finland that they are not in favour of any banking debt write down which should prompt our government to stand up to Europe.

“This state cannot afford or implement this tax without causing economic pain on its citizens,” he said.

Summing up Cllr McSharry noted that just eight years ago our current Taoiseach Enda Kenny declared it would be “morally wrong to tax family homes”.

There is 1 comment for this article
  1. Paddy at 7:17 pm

    Thank you Cllr McSharry for bringing the issue of tax on Lietrim properties to our attention. Irish homes aught to be taxed according to the cost of providing services to the residents and the environmental impact resulting from occupation of the home. For instance, a well insulated house centrally located in Dublin, heated with natural gas, on busy bus route, etc. is less expensive to service whether it be supplying heat, electricity, broadband, public transport, or medical services. In addition, the residents have a far smaller environmental impact as they walk or cycle to school and work, shops are around the corner, the airport is close, as are ferry ports, Croke Park, the Zoo and other frequently visited amenities.
    In comparison a detached house in the middle of the country has a septic tank (possible never inspected and leaking), no public transport, no gas supply. Getting to schools, work, shopping, requires driving long distances; in fact, these homes often have as many cars as adults. Providing electricity, heating, broadband, water, post, etc is all considerably more expensive and less efficient, and the carbon footprint and damage to the Irish environment is many times that of an urban household.
    In conclusion, country households should be taxed at a rate several times higher than similarly sized city dwellings.

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