Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Public Expenditure and Reform Seán Fleming has said householders will be stunned to hear they face a hike in property tax after the local elections next year.  This was confirmed to Deputy Fleming by the Revenue Commissioners at the Public Accounts Committee this morning. 

Deputy Fleming said: “It was confirmed today that Local Authorities will be able to apply at 15% increase in the property tax at the end of next year, despite assurances that the property tax would not change for three years.  This is a deeply cynical move by the two Government parties.  As soon as Fine Gael and Labour get the local elections out of the way they intend to hit families again.

“The Revenue’s own information booklet on the property tax says “The market value of your property on the 1 May 2013 will form the basis of the calculation of the tax for 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016.”  The clear impression in the minds of the public is that the tax would not change for three years, but buried in the legislation that Fine Gael and Labour insisted on forcing through the Dáil with no debate, is a clause which would allow local authorities to inform Revenue, by September 2014, of their intention to apply an increase of up to 15% from January 2015.

“Fine Gael and Labour forced through this property tax legislation, blaming the Troika, and they encouraged the impression that people would not get hit with a higher tax next year.  By holding back the increase until after the local elections, they obviously thought that the wool could be pulled over voters’ eyes.

“This is the wrong tax at the wrong time, placing unacceptable numbers of people across the country under unacceptable pressure.  At the very least, the Government needs to repeal this underhand section of the legislation and insist that there will be no increases for at least three years.”