Mayo Deputy Dara Calleary called on the Government to explain why it is forcing property taxes on homeowners in at least 57 ghost estates across Co Mayo.
Homeowners in these estates were rightly exempt from the household charge last year, but the Government has now said they are eligible to pay property taxes. Just five estates across the entire county will still be exempt.
Dep Calleary said: “It was only right that all of these unfinished estates across Co Mayo were exempt from the household charge last year. Many of the residents are young families who paid way over the odds for what is now a seriously devalued home. They are deep in negative equity, struggling to pay their mortgages and living in unfinished surroundings with no end in sight. And now Fine Gael plans to hit them with new taxes on their homes.”
According to the Ballina representative: “The Government has tried to justify this by claiming that many of these unfinished estates have miraculously been completed and fixed over the past year. This will come as a surprise to the people living in dozens of estates across Mayo that are still clearly unfinished. These people are ordinary families who were abandoned by developers and are now stuck without the amenities and services they paid for.
“This latest twist in what was already a deeply unfair plan is causing great distress and confusion in these estates in Mayo and in hundreds of others across the country. These people have a right to an explanation,” said Dep Calleary.
The Fianna Fáil Deputy has called on the Environment Minister Phil Hogan to immediately answer the following questions: What estates that were classed as unfinished last year are now classed as complete? What criteria are being applied to qualify an estate as finished? Have these estates been finished to the standards that the local authority would apply? What criteria were used to qualify some homes in the same estate for an exemption while others are still liable for the tax?