Kerry hands over €15m in prop­erty tax

VARAD­KAR’S PLANS FOR PROP­ERTY TAX COULD LEAD TO KERRY WIND­FALL

The Kerryman (South Kerry Edition) - - NEWS - By SI­MON BROUDER

KERRY County Coun­cil could be in for a tax wind­fall worth up to €3mil­lion a year if Taoiseach Leo Varad­kar presses ahead with his plans to re­vise the prop­erty tax sys­tem.

Last month Mr Varad­kar flew a po­lit­i­cal kite sug­gest­ing that ex­ten­sive changes are needed to how prop­erty tax rev­enues are spread around the coun­try.

At present all prop­erty tax is pooled na­tion­ally and used to pay for ser­vices in all local au­thor­ity ar­eas.

Typ­i­cally the sys­tem – which is de­signed to en­sure ar­eas less well off ben­e­fit equally from the tax – sees local au­thor­i­ties re­ceive fund­ing worth about 80 per cent of the local prop­erty tax take.

Un­der his new pro­posal, Mr Varad­kar is seek­ing to ringfence prop­erty tax for the spe­cific ar­eas it comes from, mean­ing any cash raised from the own­ers of prop­er­ties in Kerry would be used to fund ser­vices in the county.

Based on the prop­erty tax statis­tics for 2018, which were pub­lished by Rev­enue this week, the pro­posal could have pos­i­tive im­pli­ca­tions for Kerry which, thanks largely to the sig­nif­i­cant num­ber of hol­i­day prop­er­ties in the county, would be one of the big­gest ben­e­fi­cia­ries of any such change.

Ac­cord­ing to the Rev­enue fig­ures, €15.1 mil­lion in prop­erty taxes were col­lected from the own­ers of 69,100 Kerry prop­er­ties in 2018.

Based on that, and un­der cur­rent rules, Kerry County Coun­cil could ex­pect to re­ceive about €12mil­lion in funds from the state.

Were the Taoiseach’s pro­pos­als to come into force – and they are likely to meet stern op­po­si­tion – Kerry County Coun­cil’s cof­fers could be up to €3mil­lion bet­ter off.

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