Problems with the property tax

Thu, Feb 14, 2013, 00:00

Sir, – If the property tax is assumed to at least ostensibly cover the same remit as the household charge, surely some financial consideration should be given to those in apartments who are paying annual maintenance charges for their local infrastructure and environs?

The management company charges for an apartment in Dublin can be as much as €1,400 per annum, which pays for such things as lighting, roads and landscaping. In a housing estate these costs are covered by the local city council. Surely there is some inequity that needs redressing here? – Yours, etc,

CONOR GRAHAM,

St Augustine Street, Galway.

Sir, – I have absolutely no problem with paying the property tax on my house.

However, how am I supposed to calculate the value of my house when no one can afford to buy it at the moment? Once the banks start lending again, I will be more than willing to calculate the value of my house and therefore the property tax payable. – Yours, etc,

ELEANOR JORDAN,

The Maltings,

Bray, Co Wicklow.

Sir, – Amid all the optimism concerning the promissory note deal, how can we ignore the fact that most people, especially those in the squeezed middle, are facing more financial pressure than ever as the budget cuts and tax rises kick in? And no tax is more grossly unfair than the property tax.

Can someone in the Government explain why people who paid €30,000 to €40,000 in stamp duty at the height of the boom now have to pay further taxes on their home? Can they explain why this tax is targeted at families who own their homes but not those who rent houses and who receive the same local services? Bear in mind that many homeowners are mired in negative equity and many have to pay a mortgage that is now a considerably greater proportion of their take-home pay than they ever envisaged. Many middle-income families are struggling to get by already and have no idea from where the money for property taxes will come.

The position of ordinary people with buy-to-let mortgages is starker still. The value of their properties has collapsed; rents often don’t even cover the interest portion of the repayments, and yet income tax is already payable on these loss-making misadventures. Why hit these struggling people with further taxes?

Apart from the sheer inequity of this tax, the governing parties are being extraordinarily politically reckless. No mainstream political party seems to understand the pain that hardworking families are experiencing. Are we really left with no option other than turning to the many faces of the Disunited Left for solace? – Yours, etc,

PAUL CARROLL,

The Cloisters,

Clane, Co Kildare.