A vacant property tax sounds good but it won't make a blind bit of difference – The Irish Times

A vacant property tax falls into the category of something that sounds good, something that will play well politically, but ultimately something that will deliver next to nothing. Don’t get me wrong, it’s galling to have so many empty homes in the midst of such chronic housing shortages. But vacancy is a complex phenomenon, one that won’t simply be magicked away by a tax.

As the Central Statistics Office (CSO) notes, many of the 183,312 homes recorded as vacant in Census 2016 were either for sale; were rental properties; had a deceased owner; or were being renovated. In the main, it’s not fat cat “buy to leave” investors or foreign funds sitting on half empty apartment blocks, legitimate targets in most people’s eyes.

The CSO’s figures give rise to a vacancy rate – the number of empty properties as a proportion of the total housing stock – of 9.1 per

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