Problems with the property tax

 

Sir, – I filled in the online return for the local property tax on the same day that I received the Revenue’s letter telling me about my liability.

In good faith, I also gave it my bank account details so that it could deduct the amount due “no earlier than 21 July 2013” as stated on the website.

I have just been to my bank account and found that it deducted the property tax immediately.

Why should I go on being an honest taxpayer, coughing up hard-earned money for more than 40 years of my working life, paying every cent (and pingin before the euro) in income tax and PRSI and VAT and Dirt and youth levies and health levies and all the other taxes and levies and deductions, and now this house tax and the water tax next, in order to pay for the mistakes of corrupt politicians, greedy bankers and golden circle who have scammed us since so-called “independence”? Not to mention them putting their grubby fingers into my pension fund and levying that too. Why? Why? Why?

If ageing, middle-class, quiescent, blameless citizens like me, who have never scammed a penny nor hidden a single nixer from the taxman, can get as deeply angry as I am right now at this final straw, then what hope is there that we can sort out the financial mess?

The very roots of participatory democracy are threatened when people like me finally make up our minds to give up on voting and paying tax and all the other duties that come with citizenship. We are in perilous times indeed. – Yours, etc,

TIM O’NEILL,

Primrose Avenue,

Broadstone,

Dublin 7.

Sir, – In relation to my property tax assessment, who gets to decide the true value? Is it myself, the markets, Revenue or the government-appointed judges? Everything is stacked against me, as a householder and how can I afford to challenge the big arm of the government should it decide my valuation is wrong?

My neighbour’s house is twice the size of mine and has more land with it. Yet it is valued in the same bracket as my own.

If I had the funds I would take Enda Kenny, leader of the country, to court on the issue: why hasn’t the issue been challenged? – Yours, etc,

EMMET MURPHY,

Bawnmore, Kanturk,

Co Cork.

Sir, – I am in receipt of a demand from the Revenue Commissars in respect of the property tax. I have sent it a cheque for the due amount, however I have made this cheque payable to the Crumlin children’s hospital. This is to ensure that the monies paid are not handed over to the bankers of the fourth reich.

May I suggest that others follow suit. Pay the tax to your local hospital, sports club or deserving charity. If you pay this tax to our puppet government, be in no doubt but that it will be used to pay off the troika, the real rulers of Ireland. – Yours, etc,

MIKE MAHON,

Kilvere Park,

Templeogue, Dublin 6W.

Sir, –The forthcoming property tax is unfair and discriminatory, largely because it fails to include one major asset, ie, land.

Land is a very important asset, and the owners of land are not even being asked for a contribution. Land is a productive asset. Every other productive asset in the country is subject to taxation in the form of rates. Prior to 1977 land was subject to rates, but not since then. It is estimated that there are about 12,000,000 acres of usable land in the State. If one imputes the average price of agricultural land across the entire country of €10,500 per acre (Knight Frank survey 2012), there is a potential wealth there of €126 billion. At the current rate of the new property tax of 0.18 per cent, this source of wealth could generate additional revenues of €226 million per annum.

If market value is a valid basis on which to charge home owners, then surely it is an equally valid basis for a charge on land?

We’re often told, “We have to get the money from somewhere, the country is broke!” and “He who has most should pay most”, so where is the political will to collect this revenue stream, which could be used to offset some of the more extreme flaws in the current system, while still maintaining revenues? – Yours, etc,

UNA Nic FHIONNLAOICH,

Upper Beechwood Avenue,

Ranelagh, Dublin 6.