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Mulherin, Michelle

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Finance (Local Property Tax Repeal) Bill 2013 [Private Members]: Second Stage (Resumed)

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Finance (Local Property Tax Repeal) Bill 2013 [Private Members]: Second Stage (Resumed)

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Finance (Local Property Tax Repeal) Bill 2013 [Private Members]: Second Stage (Resumed)

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Deputy Michelle Mulherin

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Michelle Mulherin

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Snippet Contents:

I do not wish to rehash the reasons we are in a situation that requires a property tax. Who wants to have a property tax? Who wants to impose rates on people and so forth? We should park those arguments. We had them not so long ago and we spent a long time talking about it. Tonight, we are spending more time on it.
Are we being asked to suspend reality here? The Chair has asked us to speak on the Bill, but the Bill is two pages in length. It states that we will cancel what has happened previously, because that is the populist thing to do, but what happens then? We have gone through the Bill. There is nothing constructive in it. I do not believe this is constructive opposition or that it contains anything to address the issues facing people. In fact, the more than 80% of people who have paid their property tax to date see that this Bill is a load of whitewash. It is catering only to a certain element of people - not all people - who do not want to pay for anything and do not think that anybody should have to pay for anything. However, that is not how things work.
What is being created in this Bill is something fantastical, as if we will suddenly change our minds. It is absolutely ridiculous. It is in the same vein as a previous Private Members' motion from Sinn Féin which sought to create a stimulus package that would spend the pension reserve once again and which contained another proposal to approach the European Investment Bank. The same party said we should not have paid the promissory notes. It has no credibility whatsoever. It is what I call the republic of fantasyland. That is all Sinn Féin proposes when economics are involved. I urge people not to go near it unless the party can come up with something a little more constructive.
In that context, there are many compliant people who do not like the tax but who understand the requirement for balancing books and understand that the tax must be levied in that spirit. The people who have paid their tax are apprehensive about one thing and that is the value of their property. They are apprehensive because they do not know if they are competent to value it. Who can value property at present, given the way things are? My request is that people who have valued their property and complied with the notice of estimate provided to them in their region will be afforded the comfort of knowing that they will not be audited or investigated by the Revenue Commissioners for the next three years until property prices recover and the country gets into a better position.