THE MINISTER for Finance has urged home-owners to recognise that “they don’t have to accept the figure” they receive for the new property tax, as thousands of letters are due to be distributed from the Revenue Commissioners’ to Limerick households this week.
Asked what he expects the reaction to be in his home constituency, Minister Michael Noonan said: “We’ll see how it plays out. Obviously different parts of the city will have different values. The value they get in the letter is guidance, it’s to help people decide what their home is worth, but of course they don’t have to accept that.
“They can get a local auctioneer to value it, or they can provide a letter to the Revenue, saying it’s too high, because a house was sold down the road a few weeks ago and this is what they got for it.” Such comparisons can be made on the Property Price Register website, which allows people to search the sales of houses in their areas.
Speaking to the Limerick Leader, the Minister stressed that the new tax is about “self-assessment”. “The tax-payer puts the value in, but of course it must be accurate and honest. Once it’s accepted by the Revenue it lasts for three years, there’s no re-evaluation until 2016.” While the property website Daft.ie estimated that 50% of properties were valued incorrectly by the Revenue, the Minister said: “I would think the Revenue have better data than Daft. They can debate it among themselves. I’m sure there’ll be a lot of conversations about it and some controversy. I think the Revenue are doing a good job.” Homeowners can calculate how much they should have to pay through the Revenue’s website.