Fine Gael TD for Laois Offaly, Marcella Corcoran Kennedy has, today (Friday), welcomed the extension of Local Property Tax (LPT) relief available to people with disabilities. Deputy Corcoran Kennedy first raised this issue with the Minister for Finance, Michael Noonan TD last year.
“After a number of anomalies and inequities were pointed out to the Minister in relation to reliefs available to people with disabilities, I am delighted to see that he has reviewed the issue and that changes are to be made.
“Not only are vital changes to be made, but they will be effective from the 1st July, 2013 when the LPT was introduced. This means people affected can claim a refund.
“Many people in my own constituency of Laois Offaly have contacted me since the introduction of the LPT and outlined the issues around relief for people with disabilities. It was clear that many people in great need were falling between the cracks under the current legislation so I am delighted that this will no longer be the case.
“Two different categories of relief were available depending on the disability of the home owner. However, under the current legislation, only people who had applied for a grant or assistance at some time were eligible to avail of this relief. It soon became clear that there were many people who had, for whatever reason, never availed of a grant but who had adapted their home to facilitate for their disability. It was wrong that these people were excluded, so the Minister has now made the necessary changes.
“Under the first type of relief, property owners can reduce the chargeable value for LPT if the value of the house has gone up due to adaptations. In simple terms, this means that a person with a disability will not be penalised for making their home more suitable for their needs. If adaptations don’t change the value of the home then the relief has no effect.
“The second relief available fully exempts a property from LPT if it has been constructed or acquired purely due to its suitability for a person who is permanently and totally incapacitated, and who is unable to earn an income.
“For now we are still operating under the original legislation but the Minister has informed me that Revenue has been instructed to operate in line with the changes that will be made in due course.
“I am very encouraged by the way this issue has been dealt with and that people with disabilities will be able to benefit fully from the relief available. When it became clear that certain people should be eligible for relief, positive action was swiftly taken.“