The Thornhill report into the structure of Property Tax, which has been held outside the public domain until now, is finally published and it has revealed that that the government decided to ignore Dr Thornhill’s suggestion to impose a recurrent tax on development and zoned land. The government decided to forgo taxing €5 billion worth of property from the 250,000 hectors of empty zoned land. Why? If the government had taken their own advice and gone for a Site Value Tax, which was to include all zoned land, instead of this market value, residential, property Tax they would have saved householders on average 30% of the cost. A property tax bill, which is 30% less, would have allowed people who bought at the peak of the boom and who paid massive stamp duty, some small relief from the chronic austerity that they face.
The report reads “The Group notes the recommendation of the 2009 Commission on Taxation for a recurrent tax on zoned development land and suggests consideration be given to the proposal with a view to supporting proper long term planning and sustainable development.”
Why ignore this suggestion? The omission is in effect a method of taking money out of the pockets of Irish house holders and putting it back into the pockets of the very property developers and speculators whose actions caused the property and banking collapse in the first place.
The Thornhill report saw a perfect opportunity to broaden the tax base and share the tax burden with speculators. This is perhaps why the Thornhill report has been so top secret. The government have been supporting developers and speculators including NAMA while putting householders under intolerable pressure. It’s clear that the government withheld this report until it was too late for any real discussion on the issue. When NAMA took all these properties onto their books there is no doubt that their valuations would have included provision for the Governments proposed property tax. To let them off the hook now is beyond comprehension.
For more information see http://irishsitevaluetax.
blogspot.ie/ and www. smarttaxes.org and read ‘The Fair Tax’ available from Amazon, any good bookshop and firstname.lastname@example.org.
Constantin Gurdgiev 087 6164227
Ronan Lyons 086 6045655
Judy Osborne 086 3699575
Emer Ó Siochrú 01 4972564 & 0868267555