The Fianna Fáil Senator has voiced his strong opposition to the Government’s plans to introduce a market value based property tax from January.
He has described it as an unfair and discriminatory system that will cause chaos in Donegal and across the country.
“I have spoken to many homeowners across Donegal who are simply not in a position to pay hundreds of euro in new property taxes from next year,” said Senator Ó Domhnaill
“Once again the Government has caused great distress and confusion by failing to be upfront and honest with householders. Have they learned nothing from the household charge fiasco? The Government’s failure to communicate properly with public and to introduce a fair system based on people’s ability to pay resulted in unnecessary chaos.
“A property tax based as proposed would be extremely unfair on families and older people across Co Donegal, particularly at a time when it is very difficult to provide a real assessment of property values in this region.
Such a system makes no consideration of people’s ability to pay. Take for instance a pensioner who lives in a reasonably valuable house but has little or no income. How can they be expected to pay hundreds of euro a year in property taxes from their pension?” he asked.
He said that in addition to this, families in mortgage difficulty would also be hit hard.
More than 1 in 10 homeowners are in mortgage arrears of more than 90 days, with approximately 1 in 5 homeowners in some degree of mortgage difficulty.
“Does the government expect these Doengal homeowners who are in negative equity and seriously struggling with their mortgage to pay hefty property taxes when they are already struggling to cope?
“I intend to fight on behalf of Donegal homeowners against this unfair and discriminatory property tax system. I am also calling on the local Government TDs to be upfront with householders about what it is coming down the line in just 4 months time. After the mess over the household charge, homeowners here deserve some honesty from the Government.”