Document Type



Available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike 4.0 International Licence


Economics, Social issues, public administration, Urban studies (Planning and development)

Publication Details

Published in the Irish Independent on 22/02/1013


Paying any tax is an unwelcome burden, but in Ireland many have a particular aversion to taxes on their homes. We are not alone in this. Elsewhere, taxes on homes are also unpopular; witness the People's Initiative to Limit Property Taxation which forced the California state government to cut property taxes. Nevertheless, residential property taxes remain an almost universal feature of developed countries because of compelling economic arguments for them. Also, local property taxes are regarded as the best means of funding local government.

Rarely, it seems to me, is there such a distance between what the public wants and what rational public policy advises. In my view, this is because we have not developed a tolerable system of local property taxation and we lack proper local government structures.