Changes to the controversial property tax legislation were passed late last night by 62 votes to 41 after two-and-half hours of discussion at committee stage and heated exchanges throughout the day.
Minister for Finance Michael Noonan rejected repeated opposition claims of insufficient time to discuss the Finance Local Property Tax Amendment Bill and claimed debate on the legislation last week would have collapsed had the Government Chief Whip not put in more coalition speakers.
According to The Irish Times, he stressed the Government’s decision that the tax would be paid based on the market value of the family home on the basis of self-assessment and those who have an inability to pay may defer.
“All we’re asking is to put a value on it and if it a resident is seriously impacted by the activity of the householder, whether its farming or business …and if that reduces the value, that will be reflected in the self assessment and it’s up to people what value they attribute to the house,” he told TDs. They could get guidance from the Revenue, he said.
On issues such as flooding, pyrite damage and radon, he said it was reasonable when returning the self assessment form to the Revenue Commissioners to allow for the fact that the house is subject to flooding and it affected the value. But he disagreed with some claims that houses were worth nothing.
Read more in today’s Irish Times.