A motion I submitted promoting introduction of taxation on vacant homes was passed by Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council on September 25th with the following wording:

“That this Council, as a means of encouraging extra availability of housing stock for accommodation, will write to the Minister for Finance and the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government to ask them to examine the feasibility of introducing a nationwide tax on vacant homes (to complement the National Vacant Housing Re- Use Strategy, informed by Census 2016 data, as referred to within the Government policy document ‘Rebuilding Ireland’).

Analysis of such a proposal should make reference to the existing taxe d’habitation logement vacant (THLV) applicable in France, while also taking into account the preparations being undertaken to introduce a vacant homes tax in Vancouver in 2017.

This Council would encourage an exemption to such a tax being applied to those vacancies arising demonstrably due to external, long-term nursing care or healthcare provision. In such cases where this exemption would apply, instead a tax incentive scheme ought to be considered to encourage a family member to become primarily resident at the relevant home, provided that a long-term rental lease or other property by said individual is vacated as a consequence (on the basis that this should free up a vacant unit elsewhere in the property market).”