Ghost estates to pay new tax

by Gazette Reporter
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Residents in a number of housing estates across Dublin North will have to pay the new local property tax (LPT) this year, despite being exempt from last year’s household charge due to their estates being classed as “unfinished”.
Householders in estates such as Belmayne in Clongriffin, Drinan in Kinsealy, Knocksedan in Swords, Golden Ridge in Rush and Hampton Gardens in Balbriggan learned this week that their estates are no longer defined as “unfinished” and will be liable for the LPT.
Overall, 64 ghost estates and seriously sub-standard developments across Dublin city and council were exempt from last year’s household charge.  Just one of these – Priory Hall – will now be exempt from the LPT while the remaining 63 will be eligible.
Senator Darragh O’Brien (FF), based in Dublin North, has expressed his shock at the government’s decision and has demanded an immediate explanation as to why 38 “unfinished” estates across Fingal are now eligible for the tax.
“It was only right that these 38 estates in Fingal were exempt from the household charge last year. In fact there were other unfinished estates, like Waterside in Malahide, which should also have been exempt. Many residents of these estates paid way over the odds for what is now a seriously devalued home and are living in unfinished surroundings with no realistic commitment to completion in sight,” he said.
“The government has tried to justify this by claiming that many of these unfinished estates here in Fingal and across Dublin have miraculously been completed and fixed over the past year. This will come as news to people living in clearly unfinished estates who feel abandoned by developers and stuck without the amenities and services they paid for.”
Senator O’Brien says that questions also remain about homes badly damaged from pyrite also being liable for the property tax.
A spokesperson for the Department of Environment, Community and Local Government said the waiver list was compiled by the department from information supplied by the local authority itself and residents should contact their local authority to ask why an estate was not exempt.
According to a spokesperson for Fingal County Council: “The Finance (Local Property Tax) Act of 2012 sets out criteria under which properties may claim exemption from the tax.
“In addition to this, the Department of Environment established a set of criteria using the updated information from the 2012 National Housing Development Survey, one of which is the ‘seriously problematic condition’ criterion in determining what estates or part thereof would qualify for an exemption from the LPT.
“This list was applied by council engineers in assessing previously exempted estates in Fingal, and it was determined that no estate was ‘incomplete to a substantial extent’ and satisfied the ‘seriously problematic condition’, therefore no estate is exempted from the LPT,” the spokesperson concluded.

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