Mayo TD Alan Dillon said he is raising 'the concerns of Mayo farmers and landowners in relation to the draft residential zoned land tax maps recently published by the local authority'.
He stated: "The draft residential zoned land tax (RZLT ) maps, indicating the land that falls within the scope of the RZLT, were published by all 31 local authorities, including Mayo County Council, in respect of land within their administrative areas on November 1 last. The maps are available on the websites of each local authority, in their public offices and at www.gov.ie/rzlt "
Speaking in Dáil Éireann, Deputy Alan Dillon said the recent publication of the maps by local authorities could have implications for farmers and landowners in rural areas who could be hit with an annual tax of three percent of the market value of zoned farm-land.
“Looking at the interactive draft maps, which I have analysed for County Mayo, the volume of land zoned as liable under the tax in certain market towns and small to medium-sized towns is significant. In other areas there is little land zoned,” said Deputy Dillon.
Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage, Pascal Donohoe said: “Landowners may now make submissions or observations to their local authority by January 1 next where they consider that their land does not meet the criteria for inclusion set out in the legislation. In addition, other interested parties may make submissions regarding the inclusion of land which they consider falls into scope but was not included on the draft maps.”
Minister Donohoe said he appreciated Deputy Dillon raising the question because it will be very important in the time ahead that landowners check the status of their lands on these maps. “In this regard we will launch an advertising campaign shortly to draw attention to these maps and give ample time to landowners to make their case for either a change in zoning and to find out the liability they could face for the use of the land if it is not changed.”
Deputy Dillon encouraged Mayo County Council, 'who published these maps, to engage with the landowners to ensure they do not have to go down a route where appeals will have to be made to An Bord Pleanala, as a last resort'.
He concluded: “I welcome the tax measure, which is an important component of the pathway towards increasing our housing supply. Activating zoned land is hugely important. Only one sixth of land zoned residential is activated so this will be an important mechanism going forward.”