North Dublin vegetable grower fears enormous tax bill after farm land was rezoned for housing

A north Dublin vegetable grower is facing a potential €120,000 tax bill because of a government levy targeted at developers hoarding prime building land, that is also hitting farmers. The land tax is part of the Government’s Housing for All policy to encourage developers to build on sites zoned for housing, or sell them.

Liam Butterly said two fields farmed by his family for decades were rezoned as residential land by the local authority without their knowledge, so are now liable for the tax. Butterly said the new residential zoned land tax (RZLT) means the family will face a tax bill of an estimated €120,000 on the two fields, a payment they cannot afford to make, potentially forcing them to sell.

In a submission to An Bord Pleanála, the family said the lands were “integral” to the fruit and vegetable and flower nursery business they operate. Farmers and property developers have protested against the tax, which was announced by Housing Minister Darragh O’Brien. The Irish Farmers Association has written to the Department of Finance, protesting that farmers who are genuinely farming land found to have a tax liability are being penalised unfairly.


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