The Fianna Fáil party has published a Bill to provide property tax relief for homeowners who are paying management fees. There are thousands of homeowners living in managed estates across Kildare, and indeed Ireland, who are paying on the double for many services. This is an issue I raised many months ago in a submission to the Revenue Commissioners during a recent consultation on Local Property Tax.
The Fianna Fáil Bill provides a discount on property tax worth a third of the management fee, up to a maximum of €300 a year. Thousands of people living in apartments or managed estates are paying a fortune in management fees every year. This pays for some of the services that the council would otherwise provide, including keeping the grounds, maintaining the roads and paths, maintaining public lighting and managing drainage.
The fact that managed estate dwellers are still liable for the full amount of property tax means that they are paying on the double for many services. The property tax is supposed to fund local authorities in maintaining residential areas, as well as providing local services. Those paying management fees should get a discount given that they are already paying for the maintenance of public areas around their homes.
The Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Public Expenditure Seán Fleming will move the Bill in the Dáil this week. The fact is the Government rushed through a deeply flawed property tax system that places an unfair burden on those living in urban areas in particular. Major reforms are needed. Reducing the burden on managed estate dwellers is one of many important measures we need to take to correct the badly written Local Property Tax legislation that this Government brought in.
I fully support my Oireachtas colleagues in getting this Bill through and I encourage that the Government parties to do the right thing and support it too.
If there is money available to fund this then i suggest priority is given to fund the reversal of previous cuts to the respite care grant