Designing a Site Value Tax for Ireland

land value tax

Ireland’s Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the EU/IMF requires government to introduce a recurring annual property tax from 2012.

While the MoU has not specified the precise form this new taxation measure will adopt, commitments in the National Recovery Plan 2011-2014 and Fine Gael/Labour Programme for Government have pointed towards the introduction of an annual Site Value Tax (SVT). Budget 2011 suggested that the yield from this tax source would grow from €180m in 2012 to reach €530m in 2014.

Similarly the MoU commits government to raising additional taxation revenues of €1.5bn in 2012 and €1.1bn in 2013 with both to be partly funded by a property tax and increases to that tax.

To date assessments of the feasibility of a SVT (by the Commission of Taxation and the Department of Finance) have pointed towards a series of practical difficulties associated with its introduction.

This paper outlines a proposal to overcome these difficulties and to introduce a credible, fair and reliable annual SVT from January 2013. The paper uses the land registry database of the Property Registration Authority of Ireland (PRAI) to outline the structure and administration of a SVT.

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