Tuesday, 5 March 2013

Questions (138)

Terence Flanagan


138. Deputy Terence Flanagan asked the Minister for Finance if houses built for wheelchair users will be exempt from the local property tax (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [11497/13]

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Written answers (Question to Finance)

I am informed by the Revenue Commissioners that it is not possible to give a definitive reply based on the information provided by the Deputy. While there is no specific exemption from the Local Property Tax (LPT) for houses built for wheelchair users, the Finance (Local Property Tax) (Amendment) Bill 2013 contains certain provisions that, if enacted, may be relevant, depending on the circumstances involved. Section 2 of the Bill provides an exemption from LPT for a residential property purchased, built or adapted to make it suitable for occupation by a permanently and totally incapacitated individual as their sole or main residence, where an award has been made by the Personal Injuries Assessment Board or a court, or where a trust has been established, specifically for the benefit of such individuals. In the case of adaptations to a property, the exemption will only apply where the cost of the adaptations exceeds 25% of the market value of the property before it is adapted. The exemption ends if the property is sold and the incapacitated individual no longer occupies it as his or her sole or main residence.

Alternatively, section 6 of the Bill provides for a reduction in the market value of a residential property that has been adapted for occupation by a disabled person where the adaptation has been grant-aided by a local authority. The reduction is limited to the lesser of the market value attributable to the adaptation work carried out on the property and the maximum grant payable under the relevant local authority scheme. The relief ends on the sale or transfer of a property that has been adapted, unless the person with the disability continues to reside in the property. Furthermore, the impact of specific adaptations on a property can be to decrease the value which may in turn impact on the LPT liability. I am advised by the Revenue Commissioners that full details of the all the existing exemptions are available on Revenue’s website www.revenue.ie, where the Commissioners have recently published a useful Guide to Local Property Tax. This will be revised shortly to take account of the provisions of the Finance (Local Property Tax) (Amendment) Bill 2013.