Management Fees (Local Property Tax) Relief Bill 2018: First Stage

I move:

That leave be granted to introduce a Bill entitled an Act to amend the Finance (Local Property Tax) Act 2012 to make provision for a partial exemption of property tax payable by a relevant owner whose property is located in a managed estate on which the owner of said property is liable to the payment of management fees and to provide for related matters.

In light of the review being undertaken on the local property tax, I propose the Management Fees (Local Property Tax) Relief Bill 2018, which proposes to amend the Finance (Local Property Tax) Act 2012 to make provision for a partial reduction of property tax payable by a relevant owner whose property is located in a managed estate, which is the principal private residency on which the owner of said property is liable to the payment of management fees, and to provide for related matters.

I am aware that the Minister has given a cautious welcome for this Bill in the context of the thousands of people who are paying management fees and local property tax. This fully costed measure would apply to principal private residences only and would not apply to investment properties. I brought a Bill on the local property tax to the Seanad in 2015. We are trying to make the tax fair and acknowledge that some people are paying on the double. I refer to those who pay fees to management companies which are used to pay for upkeep, sinking funds and so on, and do not, therefore, derive the maximum benefit of local authority services. This Fianna Fáil Bill will permit those who have fully paid their management fees to date to receive a partial reduction in property tax of up to one third of the management fees, with the maximum reduction set at €300. According to the research I have done on this matter, the measure would probably result in an average reduction of some €86. Many people who bought homes at the height of the market are paying high management fees of up to €2,500 per annum. The proposed relief would give a break to these people up to a maximum reduction of €300. It would also acknowledge that people are effectively paying twice for services in their estates, some of which they do not receive despite paying for them. In light of the review of the local property tax, I hope to be able to work with all parties and Independents to see this change through and introduce a little more fairness into the system.

Is the Bill opposed?

Question put and agreed to.

Since this is a Private Members' Bill, Second Stage must, under Standing Orders, be taken in Private Members' time.

I move: "That the Bill be taken in Private Members' time."

Question put and agreed to.