The Irish Times

Call to exempt flooded properties from tax

- MARIE O’HALLORAN

A call has been made for properties flooded during Storm Desmond to be exempt from property tax. The demand was made during a debate on a Bill that gives exemptions to houses affected by pyrite and to properties of people with disabiliti­es.

In sharp exchanges with Minister of State for Finance Simon Harris, who introduced the Bill, Fianna Fáil’s Seán Fleming asked him to give a commitment that houses now flooded “will not have to pay the local property tax for 2016 to 2018 inclusive”.

Mr Fleming said Mr Harris should make “some effort” for people “so they will not have to pay local property tax in the first week of January in respect of houses they will not be able to live in over Christmas”.

Mr Harris rebuffed the Fianna Fáil public expenditur­e and reform spokesman and said he was being extraordin­arily partisan about what was a national emergency.

Mr Harris said Mr Fleming knew well how flood relief schemes and funding worked.He highlighte­d the ¤430 million for flood relief schemes over the next five years, the ¤15 million emergency fund and the business relief scheme announced for those who could not get flood insurance, with the first ¤5,000 effectivel­y on an honour system.

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