Dubliners Say No to Property Taxes

17 Apr

As thousands marched against Ireland’s new property tax at the weekend, figures show that Northern Ireland homeowners still pay three times more for local government services than households will in the Republic.

Over 5,000 protesters chanted “can’t pay, won’t pay” in the march Saturday, while citizens in Northern Ireland have been paying property taxes, or domestic rates, for decades.

Compared to the domestic rate of .70 per cent in Belfast and .80 per cent in Derry in Northern Ireland, Republic homeowners won’t be paying nearly as much in property taxes. 

The new property tax rate in the Republic is .18 per cent of the value of the property up to €1 million. The rate increases to .25 per cent for values greater than €1 million. Fortunately, most Irish homes are worth less than €300,000 meaning most homeowners are expected to pay only €50 a month.

The proposed property tax is a self-assessed tax, meaning homeowners assess the value of their own property based on their knowledge of the property and local areas. Rates in Northern Ireland vary depending on district while the tax in the Republic is uniform throughout the country.  

Property taxes were abolished in the Republic in 1977 so many citizens are infuriated that the taxes are being reintroduced under new government legislation. However, if the new property tax is as effective as the government anticipates, the government will raise €500 million for economic recovery.  

The property tax, effective in July, will affect 1.9 million homeowners. Compared to the previous household charges, the seriousness of this new legislation has many citizens worried about their new monthly expenditures.

Even though the government has sent over 1 million letters informing Republic citizens about the upcoming tax, citizens are still fighting back. The Campaign Again Home & Water Taxes (CAHWT) is leading a Day of Action against the property tax on May 1st, which is International Workers Day.  The day will focus on civil disobedience around the country. 

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