One third of Laois people are dodging property tax

Michelle Hogan

Reporter:

Michelle Hogan

One third of Laois people are dodging property tax payments

One third of Laois people are dodging property tax payments

Almost 10,000 people in Laois dodged paying the correct amount of Local Property Tax (LPT) in 2017 while 667 households had to be forced to pay it.

Some 30.2% of the 29,000 eligible households in Laois paid a property tax that was one band lower than the valuation band they should have been in after self-assessing their homes.

Nearly 3% paid a property tax that was two bands lower than it should have been according to the new figures from the Revenue Commissioners.

Nationally, approximately 43% of property owners self-assessed the same tax valuation band as Revenue Estimated and 57% of property owners self-assessed a different valuation band.

There are approximately 29,000 private households in the county that pay the local property tax and 2,200 rented local authority houses that do not have to pay. This is paid by the local authority.

New figures released by Revenue reveal that Laois householders and the local authority together paid a total of €4.7 million through local property tax charges last year.

Households valued up to €100,000 pay €90 per year. This is valuation band number one.

Homes valued between €100,001- €150,000 pay €225 per year. This is valuation band two.

Homes valued between €150,001 - €200,000 pay €315 per year. This is valuation band three.

Homes valued between €200,001 - €250,000 pay €405 per year. This is valuation band four.

Almost 95% of houses in Laois are valued at less than €200,000 meaning nearly all people in Laois are supposed to pay between €90 and €315. One third of people in Laois placed themselves in a lower valuation band in order to pay less tax.

A total of 80% of property tax paid in Laois is re-distributed back into the local authority while 20% of the money collected is retained within the Department of Housing, Planning, Community and Local Government.

In 2017, €399,000 was provided to the Municipal Districts in the county for local amenities such as community projects, footpaths, traffic calming, public lights, bring sites and cemeteries.

Laois County Council expects a total of €8,558,877 in LPT for 2018, the same as 2017. The Net LPT collected from payments for 2017 was €4,928,222. The amount retained locally in 2017 was €3,922,602.

Laois County Council is in a “shortfall position” when expected 2018 LPT receipts are compared to the 2018 Baseline and will receive an “equalisation fund” of €4,616,299 for 2018.

This brings the total income for Laois County Council for LPT to €8,558,877 in 2018.

This year, householders in Laois are facing a hike in their property tax bills for the first time since the  tax was introduced in 2013, to cover growing costs by Laois County Council.

A majority of Laois councillors voted to raise the Local Property Tax by 10% on Monday, September 11 2017. CEO of Laois County Council John Mulholland said it was needed to meet additional costs and maintain services.

A total budget of €60.6million will be spent in Laois this year, up by €1.36m from 2017.

Extra costs include the setting aside of at least €120,000 for legal fees for 2018, because two wind companies are taking the council  to the High Court over councillors' attempt to  ban new wind farm developments.