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Property Tax Exemptions

Dáil Éireann Debate, Thursday - 16 July 2015

Thursday, 16 July 2015

Questions (13)

Clare Daly

Question:

13. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government if he has had any discussions with the Department of Finance over the past 12 months in order to enable home owners with houses containing pyrite to claim their exemption for local property tax without an infill test, with particular reference to offering assistance to the Department of Finance in relation to how the pyrite remediation scheme operates; how information from that source could be made available to the Revenue Commissioners; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [28733/15]

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Written answers (Question to Environment)

Section 10A of the Finance (Local Property Tax) Act 2012 (as amended) provides for a temporary exemption of at least three consecutive years from the charge to Local Property Tax (LPT) for residential properties that have been certified as having “significant pyritic damage”.

To avail of the exemption, the Finance (Local Property Tax) (Pyrite Exemption) Regulations 2013 require that a liable person be in a position to demonstrate 'significant pyritic damage' to his/her property, i.e. the property must:

(a) have a Damage Condition Rating of 2 or a Damage Condition Rating of 1 (with progression) established on foot of a Building Condition Assessment carried out by a competent person under and in accordance with I.S. 398 -1:2013 Reactive pyrite in sub-floor hardcore material – Part 1: Testing and Categorisation Protocol, and

(b) have sub-floor hardcore material classified, by the appropriate competent person(s), as susceptible to significant or limited expansion, established on foot of testing the sub-floor hardcore material.

The legislation in this area is consistent with the recommendation set out in the Report of the Pyrite Panel (July 2012), which recommended that an exemption from the LPT should be provided for dwellings where damage from pyritic heave is proven by testing. The costs associated with meeting these requirements are a matter for those who wish to avail of the exemption; they cannot be recouped from my Department. However, where a property is accepted into the pyrite remediation scheme, the costs incurred by a homeowner in respect of a Building Condition Assessment may be recouped from the Housing Agency, subject to a maximum of €500.

In addition, having particular regard to the costs associated with testing, my Department is engaging with the Department of Finance in order to explore possible alternatives to the requirement for testing. In this context, my colleague, the Minister for Finance, has initiated a review of the operation of the LPT. I understand that the review will primarily have regard to recent residential property price developments, the overall yield from LPT and the desirability of achieving relative stability in LPT payments. The review will also address a number of issues which have arisen in relation to the efficient and effective administration of LPT, among which is likely to be the matter of the operation of the pyrite exemption provisions. Further discussions in this matter will take place in due course between my Department and the Department of Finance.

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