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Louise O’Reilly TD raises LPT pyrite exemption chaos with Minister for Finance

4 October, 2016 - by Louise O'Reilly TD

Sinn Féin TD for Dublin Fingal Louise O'Reilly has called on the Minister for Finance to intervene in the cases of a number of households who have been told they must now retrospectively pay local property tax, despite having been in receipt of the exemption up until 2016.

Deputy O’Reilly used oral questions in the Dáil to question the Minister for Finance directly on what flexibility existed in the system to assist those who were in receipt of the pyritic damage exemption until 2016, but were told they must now retrospectively pay it. She questioned the Minister on what action he could take to intervene.

Speaking to the Minister directly, Deputy O’Reilly said:

“It is not their fault that their houses and their homes have pyrite. They could had no way of knowing when they bought their homes that pyrite was present. They sent in all of the documentation. They complied with all of the rules as they understood them. They even went to the trouble of ringing the Revenue Commissioners to double-check that they did in fact have the exemption, and they did this every year. They sent in piles of documentation- everything that was requested of them. They further went to the trouble of making phone calls just so they could be clear about it. Again, it is not their fault that the records and recordings do not go back far enough to capture this, but they have told me and assured me they did everything possible.

“What they seek from the Minister is a modicum of flexibility. He must understand, their homes have been rendered effectively worthless by pyrite. The value of even those homes that have been remediated is severely impacted."

Speaking after Minister Noonan committed to looking at the issue and working with Revenue on this Deputy O'Reilly said:

"A number of frustrated households have been in touch with me in Dublin Fingal over correspondence from Revenue looking for the retrospective payment of the property tax, despite having been in receipt of the exemption up until 2016. These are households who submitted all the necessary documents to Revenue at the time, who were aware of the time bound nature of the exemption and who were willing to pay once it ran out. Now they are being hit with a bill and being told it must be paid.

"I welcome that the Minister has said that he will revert to Revenue to see if anything can be done on this. If there is a chance that Revenue has the ability to employ flexibility in these cases, then it is important that it is done. I have contacted the Ministers office to ensure that this commitment is followed through on and I hoe that the Minister, and Revenue, can work with those affected in this regard."

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