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Revealed: The 7 TDs who say they won't pay the property tax

In response to queries from TheJournal.ie this week, most TDs who have opposed the tax have said they will comply with it but at least seven said they will not pay even though it puts their Dáil seat at risk.

AT LEAST SEVEN TDs have said they will not pay the local property tax and do not intend complying with the Revenue Commissioners in a move that could potentially put their Dáil seat at risk.

In response to queries from TheJournal.ie this week, most independent TDs and those from the two opposition parties who have opposed and voted against the tax said they would comply with it, many saying it is “the law of the land” but seven told this website they would not.

This could potentially put their Dáil seat at risk if they are re-elected at the next general election as not filing a return and paying the tax would mean these TDs would not get a tax clearance certificate which they must produce within nine months of being elected.

The seven TDs are: Joan Collins, Joe Higgins, Séamus Healy, Clare Daly, Luke ‘Ming’ Flanagan, John Halligan and Thomas Pringle.

“I certainly won’t be paying it. If I can avoid paying it I will avoid paying it,” Flanagan told TheJournal.ie this week saying that he was boycotting the tax in “solidarity with those who have to make a choice between putting food on the table or a fire in the fireplace to pay this tax”.

Higgins said he was “participating in a mass boycott of the property tax” and added: “The only way the people can force the government back is mass boycott, they [the government] are impervious with their majority in the Dáil so people power is needed.”

Higgins: “Just because Revenue is an agent of government, it is not a reason to back off.”

The Socialist Party TD said he expected a “substantial boycott” of the campaign while People Before Profit TD Joan Collins said she still hoped the tax could be reversed.

She said: “I am going to defy it, not comply and take the penalties and in the meantime the campaign against the tax will be a short window of opportunity to really encourage people to get out on the streets, with a bit of fire in their belly, if they want to try and reverse it.”

Waterford TD Halligan said: “I haven’t even got a bloody bill but I am sure I will get it shortly. But when I do I won’t be paying it.”

Donegal South West deputy Thomas Pringle admitted that Revenue would find it easy to get the tax from him “as they know where I work” while Healy described the tax as “draconian” and said he would not comply. Daly said she would not filing her return.

‘Through gritted teeth’

In total 28 TDs said they’d pay the tax, 7 said they would not, two said they did not qualify as they do not own a property and 18 did not respond to queries.

A Fianna Fáil spokesperson said that members of the parliamentary party will be expected to pay the tax and obey the law. A Sinn Féin spokesperson said that the property tax law has “been framed in such a way to take personal choice about its payment away from the individual”.

Individual TDs in both parties who responded said they would be paying.

Fianna Fáil TD Seán Fleming said: “I am a law abiding citizen and I’ll obey with the law of the land. It’s the law of the land, I mightn’t like but it’s the law of the land.”

Some Sinn Féin TDs who boycotted the household charge last year acknowledged that they would now be forced to pay that charge when it is added to their property tax liability. The majority who were contacted did not respond to queries.

Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin said that he was “minded to pay it on the basis that I have no option” while Pádraig Mac Lochlainn said that any public representative who said they would not be paying would be engaging in “bluster”, adding: “They will have to pay at some point.”

Sinn Féin says it would repeal the property tax if and when it is in government

A number of independent TDs who have spoken out against the tax have said that they will reluctantly comply with Revenue and make their return. Wicklow deputy Stephen Donnelly said he was doing so “through gritted teeth”.

Dublin North Central TD Finian McGrath said he was going to hold out as long as possible to “make a stand” but acknowledged that he would probably end up paying the tax in the end.

Kerry TD Michael Healy-Rae said that while he had spoken out against the tax he had always said he would pay it: “I am telling them [my constituents] there’s no way out of this, Revenue will get it from you.

“Sure even when you’re dead Revenue come after you,” he added.

Labour TD Patrick Nulty, who lost the party whip in 2011 after voting against the Budget, said he was not liable as he did own a property as did People Before Profit TD Richard Boyd-Barrett who confirmed that he did not own a property and was therefore not liable.

Spreadsheet: Is your TD paying the property tax?

Read: Revenue’s property tax guidance causing ‘widespread confusion’

Leo Varadkar: Property tax is easy to pay and hard to evade

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About the author:

Hugh O'Connell

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