Galway TD Seán Canney is calling for the government to confirm that the new Residential Zoned Land Tax will not apply to active farmland.
The Galway East TD said that it would be an “unjust financial burden” for tax to be imposed on family farms, and that he has been contacted by many worried farmers.
People are worried that they may have to sell land that has been in their family for generations, he added, as it is unlikely to be developed.
“Farm families will potentially be paying tax on land based on a value that they will not benefit from as the land will not be used for residential purposes.”
“The exclusion of properties that that currently liable for the local property tax is a sound policy but the same does not hold through for farmers who are making an active living farming their land but just happens to be in a zoned area.”
The Residential Zoned Land Tax (RZLT) will be an annual tax of 3% of a plot of land’s valuation, and will come into effect from 2024.
The RZLT is meant to incentivise the construction of housing, and in particular to get landowners to start work on existing planning permissions.
Land that is used as part of a functioning farm should be excluded from this, Seán Canney said, adding that records of grants such as the Basic Income Support for Sustainability (BISS) can prove who is actively farming their land.
“This tax is aimed at property developers who are hoarding the land to make a profit but imposing the same tax on farmers who are farming land for generations and dependent on that land for income and there is no justification for this situation to arise.”