The Department of Environment persists in stating that 1.6m households are liable for the household charge.  This is patently not the case.  It is houses that are liable for the tax not households.  If a person owns two houses – one they live in, one a holiday home, they pay twice.  They wouldn’t do that if it was a tax purely on households.  The household charge is a tax on property.  There are 1.994m habitable housing units in the state – they are all liable for the tax with some exemptions.   Here is some useful data compiled by the Campaign Against Household & Water Taxes from official statistics and Dail questions.  It gives a much more thorough picture of the liabilities relating to the household charge than the governments line, and that is the case whether you are for or against the charge.

1    Housing units in state     1,994,845    CSO

2    Unoccupied/vacant housing units unsold  18,636    Housing Development Survey, DECLG, 2011

3    Renting social housing   129,033    Census 2011, Table 39.

4    Renting voluntary housing    14,942    Census 2011, Table 39

5    Being bought from Local Authorities under shared ownership scheme    23,547    Census 2006. Doesn’t appear to be in Census 2011.

6    Mortgage interest relief    19,000     Keane Report

7    Housing units in unfinished estates    34,000     Money Guide Ireland

8    Number of landlords who registered Non Principal Private Residence (NPPR) in 2011    183,551   NAMAwinelake

9    Number of NPPR registered in 2011 for the NPPR Tax    339,431

10    Number of housing units for which the HHT was paid on 1st June 2012    915,408    Dail Question Ref No:   27986/12. Clare Daly.

11    Numbers waivered for HHT on 1st June 2012    17,167    Dail Question Ref No:   27986/12. Clare Daly.

12    Number of housing units registered to multiple accounts on 1st June 2012    332,900    Dail Question Ref No:   27986/12. Clare Daly.

13    Number of accounts to which more than one unit was registered on 1st June 2012    106,332    Dail Question Ref No:   27986/12. Clare Daly.

Figures calculated from above

14    Number of housing units liable to register for Household Tax (HHT)    1,808,687    (1-2-3-4-5)

15    Number of housing units liable to pay the Household Tax    1,755,687    (14-6-7)

16    Total number of property owners liable to register     1,469,256    (14-9)

17    Number of housing units actually registered on 1st June 2012    932,575    (10 + 11)

18    Number of housing units not registered on 1st June 2012    876,112   ( 14-17)

19    Number of NPPRs registered assuming the family home was also registered on the same account.    226,568    (12-13).

20    Number of property owners registered on 1st June 2012 (Accounts with LGMA) assuming each account also has the Principal Private Residence registered.    706,007    (10 + 11 – 19)

21    Number of property owners who have not registered.    763,249    (16-20)

22    % of property owners not registered    52

These figures seem to be correct, although there are some exception that need to be taken out of the total number of liable housing units (exemptions 2, 5, 6, 7 – all small, but not in the public domain; might account for up to c.20K units)

With thanks to Mick Murphy (National Treasurer of the Campaign Against Household & Water Taxes) for sending us the information.

Rob Kitchin

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