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Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe announced the planned Vacant Property Tax this afternoon Sam Boal
vacant property tax

Donohoe announces plan for Vacant Property Tax as part of Budget 2023

New data from Revenue has shown that there are 57,206 vacant properties across the State.

FINANCE MINISTER PASCHAL Donohoe has announced that he plans to bring forward a Vacant Property Tax as part of Budget 2023.

 It comes just after Revenue announced new data on the number of vacant, habitable properties across Ireland stands at 57,206, or 3.6% of all properties in the state.

Donohoe made the announcement at a press conference this afternoon, saying that addressing vacancy of habitable properties was a “priority for the government”.

“While overall vacancy levels may be low, we also know that there are clusters of vacancy and in cities and in towns across all areas of the country, and addressing this is a priority for the government,” he said.

“I am announcing my intention to bring forward proposals for a tax on vacant habitable residential properties.”

Donohoe said that the measure would be targeted towards long-term vacant houses, rather than an all-encompassing tax on vacant homes, saying that it would need to be balanced.

“Work is ongoing now in my department, on the design of a targeted measure that achieves an appropriate balance between incentivizing owners of vacant, habitable properties to bring their properties back into use,” Donohoe said.

“Also ensuring that any such tax does not excessively penalise a homeowner for what could be a normal and temporary vacancy.

Appropriate exemptions for this tax will therefore be in place while ensuring that the tax is designed to maximize the use of the existing housing stock.

“The purpose of this tax on empty habitable homes is not to generate revenue, but it is to encourage change and to make more vacant homes available for use.”

Donohoe added that the measure would be planned as a Budget 2023 measure and that he hoped to see it come into effect in early 2023.

He also said that there would be a lead-in time before this tax kicked in.

Vacant property figures

Figures announced by Revenue today show that there are 52,206 vacant properties in Ireland, as of November 2021.

It comes after figures were released by the CSO in late June that estimated there were over 166,000 vacant properties in Ireland.

When asked about the difference between the two figures and whether that meant there could be more than 110,000 derelict homes, Donohoe said that there may be more than 110,000.

However, he would not be drawn on how many more derelict homes there could be.

He did say that the difference between the figures may be due to how Census 2022 was carried out.

“The fact that the property may have been vacant on the night of the CSO Census, whereas this one [Revenue figures] looks over a 12 month period,” said Donohoe.

According to Revenue, 10.1% of all vacant properties in the country are in Dublin city centre, followed by 8.8% in Cork County, 7.7% in Donegal and 7.4% in Kerry.

The provisional figures say that the main reasons for vacancy are due to them being up for sale or lease, undergoing renovations or being used as a holiday home.

Additionally, 11% of vacant properties are owned by landlords with more than ten houses.

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