Hooke snags tax deal


The Revenue Commissioners has employed the services of auctioneers Hooke & MacDonald to value a cross section of houses for the upcoming property tax.

The Irish Times has learned that the Revenue invited quotations as part of a competitive procedure and Hooke & MacDonald were chosen to provide indicative valuations on a sample of 1,300 properties in Dublin, Limerick, Cork, Waterford and Galway.

It’s understood Hooke & MacDonald – which has an established reputation as a new homes agent – is working to a tight deadline because its valuations will feed into Revenue’s property estimates due to be posted to more than 1.6 million homes around the State in the coming weeks. These letters, due in March, will provide a guideline for homeowners to calculate what property tax band they fall into before the new charge becomes payable in July.

Revenue has also revealed it is currently setting up a panel of experts that will comprise qualified valuers who can provide expert advice on valuations for residential and commercial property and development land for the purposes of Revenue tax valuations. The panel will be used for a range of taxes, not just the local property tax. Work will be allocated whereby the highest-ranked panel member will be offered the work. The closing date for receipt of tenders for this panel is March 20th.

Recent reports have indicated that aerial mapping technology and other software databases will be drawn upon to help Revenue arrive at the value of properties based on their location relative to amenities. This is the first indication that independent private sector valuers will also be called upon to offer their expertise. The timing of the establishment of the panel after the first guideline property valuations have been issued to homeowners would suggest Revenue is preparing itself for the response from individuals contesting their guideline valuations.

While generally adopting a wait and see approach, consensus is emerging among property experts that the initial valuations for the property tax are likely to be on the low side. As one agent put it: “I get the feeling they’ll be conservative. Even if they get it 80 per cent right, which wouldn’t be bad, that’s still 320,000 unhappy people out of 1.6 million. It’s hard to see how they could have the manpower to police it.”