Grealish lashes Noonan over vague property tax answers

Residents of housing estates, who are already paying maintenance fees to a management company, should not have to pay the property tax as they should not have to pay twice for the same service.

This is the view of Independent Galway West TD Noel Grealish who was also highly critical of the Minister for Finance Michael Noonan over what he alleged were “vague answers” to questions Dep Grealish raised in the Dáil on Tuesday.

During discussions on the Local Property Tax Bill, Dep Grealish raised the issue of reports that people who undervalue their property could be liable for interest and penalties if their house is sold.

Dep Grealish asked the Minister to confirm if people inadvertently overvalue their properties and get a lower sale price, they would be entitled to a rebate. However the Minister “point blank refused to answer this question”.

He also asked the Minister why residents of housing estates, who already pay a fee to a management company for the provision of services, must now also pay the local property tax, given that services are being provided privately rather than by the Government.

“I don’t believe it is fair that people in estates will be asked to pay twice for the same services,” he said, “but the Minister was very vague regarding this matter.”

According to Dep Grealish, the Minister disputed that such residents had refuse facilities offered as part of their management fee, but Dep Grealish clarified that this is only the case in a small number of apartment blocks and not in housing estates across the country.

Dep Grealish called for an exemption from the local property tax to be offered to victims of the 2009/2010 flooding, “who are now finding it impossible to secure flood insurance for their homes and who will find it extremely difficult to sell these properties in the future”. Again, Minister Noonan “refused to offer any concessions”.

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