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More doubts about vacancy tax as IRS identifies 57,000 vacant properties

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Further doubts have been raised about the vacancy tax as revenue figures show just over 57,000 vacant properties.

Local property tax returns show that 57,206, or 3.2 percent, of the properties were reported as vacant by their owners as of November 1, 2021.

This is in stark contrast to the recently released preliminary CSO figures, which showed 166,000 vacant properties.

However, government sources insisted these figures include run-down houses that are not subject to local property tax (LPT).

A fifth of the 57,206 properties tracked by Revenue, or over 11,000, are vacation homes, while the majority of homes — 42,522 — are not their owners’ primary homes.

The highest vacancy rates were reported in Donegal at 6.7 percent, Kerry at 6.4 percent, Leitrim at 6.3 percent and Mayo at 6 percent.

The most commonly cited reason for vacancy was that the properties were holiday homes, with 40.6 per cent of vacant homes in Donegal and 39.9 per cent in Kerry being holiday homes.

According to the newly released Revenue figures, only 2.6 per cent of properties in the Dublin City area are vacant.

In Cork City, 2.6 per cent of properties were reported vacant, 2.4 per cent in Galway City, 2.5 per cent in Limerick City and County, while the Fingal area of ​​Dublin recorded just 1.7 per cent of vacant homes.

The most common reason (22.4 percent) for vacancy was that they were being renovated, and 20.4 percent of vacant properties were recorded as vacation rentals.

For homes that have been vacant for more than a year, a third of homeowners indicated that the property is being renovated.

Of the 57,206 properties reported as vacant by their owners, 3,450 are owned by municipalities and recognized housing associations (AHB).

About 61 percent of vacant properties were reported as having been vacant for less than 12 months.

There are 553 property owners who own 10 or more properties with at least one listed as vacant.

Of these, 108 owners own 10 or more vacant properties.

About 77 percent of vacant properties are worth less than €350,000.

Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe said tackling vacancy and dereliction is a “primary objective” of the government.

“While both revenue data and preliminary 2022 census data show vacancy levels to be within a normal range, it is important that the government acts to ensure all viable housing stock is occupied,” he said.

“This information forms the basis for the ongoing work on the meaning, effect and design of a vacancy tax. More details on this measure will be forthcoming as my officials finalize the technicalities of administering a new tax.”

The government has previously pledged to introduce a vacancy tax to reduce vacant properties.

Secretary Donohoe previously said local property tax returns show a “low level” of vacancy rates and today’s new figures show that detail for the first time.

Independent.ie previously reported how Treasury Department officials are studying whether electricity usage could be tracked to identify vacant properties.

https://www.independent.ie/irish-news/politics/further-doubt-cast-on-vacant-home-tax-as-revenue-identifies-57000-empty-properties-41818730.html More doubts about vacancy tax as IRS identifies 57,000 vacant properties

Fry Electronics Team

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