Property tax gives council €9m windfall
DUBLIN City Council has landed a €9m windfall due to penalities imposed on property owners who were late paying the controversial second home tax.
The local authority's coffers has been boosted by €7.346m after property owners coughed up millions of euro in late penalty fees.
And another sum of €1.8m is due to the council after plans were put in place for people who could not afford to pay the tax or late penalties at the August 31, 2014, payment cut-off date.
In 2009, the government introduced the Non-Principal Property Register (NPPR) where people who had a second property had to pay a tax of €200 per year on that home. It has now been abolished and has been replaced by the Local Property Tax.
"The additional payments in 2014 are €10.059m of which €2.7m relates to charges and €7.346m relates to penalties," Owen Keegan, the council's chief executive said.
"In addition to the above, Dublin City Council has invoiced €1.8m in respect of payment plans," he added.
Penalties built up for non-payment of the tax, especially among Irish immigrants who were unaware of it.
There was a cut-off date of August 31, 2014 for late charges before the abolition of the tax and if owners had not paid by then they incurred fines in the thousands of euro.
Liable homeowners who never paid the charge owed €4,220 before that date and that amount rose to €7,230 after September 1 if it remained unpaid.
"This money is a once-off cash bonanza for the city council, and councillors have to be very careful not to commit it to something that is a recurring cost. It could go towards social housing, for example.
"It's going to help in the reduction of the property tax and in commercial rates," said Independent councillor Nial Ring.
Someone who had never paid the charge up until the cut-off date owed €4,220, while a homeowner who missed payment in 2012 and 2013 owed €1,000.
Mr Ring understands that more fees are due and the council is working to track down property owners who never declared a second home.
Approximately 65,000 non-principal residential properties were declared in the Dublin City Council area.