Farm Business

Residential Zoned Land Tax – Considerations if appealing to An Bord Pleanála

IFA strongly oppose the inclusion of land which currently forms an integral part of existing farm operations within the Residential Zoned Land Tax (RZLT) and will continue to campaign to ensure all genuinely farmed land is exempt from this penal tax (3% annual market value tax).

In our view, the RZLT is an unjust penal tax that will ultimately force the sale of privately-owned land farmed for generations. It is effectively a form of Compulsory Purchase Order (CPO) that this Government is pursuing, irrespective of the significant financial and emotional strain that it will impose on impacted farm families.
Following submissions made at the end of 2022, many farmers will have received formal correspondence recently outlining the determinations of their respective Local Authorities and whether or not they are deemed liable to the RZLT. No doubt many, unfortunately, were disappointed and frustrated with the outcome received. So what now?

What can you do now – next steps

Farmers/landowners who are unhappy with the Local Authority determination can appeal, if they wish, free of charge to An Bord Pleanála (ABP), but must do so no later than May 1st 2023.

The appeal must be made in writing and should clearly outline your grounds for appeal. Start with challenging the Local Authority determination and the stated reason(s) for the determination on the letter received. Be factual in your challenge, specific, and clearly state your position and your desired outcome. Include a copy of the Local Authority decision and/or submission reference, together with your name & address; land parcel ID and all supporting documentation (& input from relevant professionals) that will aid your appeal as required.

Again, the focus of ABP will be on whether the land meets the relevant criteria in Section 653B or not, namely is the land:

  • Zoned residential (lands zoned mixed-use (incl residential) can be exempt assuming land is not vacant/idle);
  • Serviced (i.e. has access to roads; footpaths; lighting; water; surface water & foul sewerage drainage);
  • Of sufficient service capacity for the proposed development, and is;
  • Suitable for development – free from contamination (i.e. flooding, etc) or item of cultural or significant archaeological importance.

    Unfortunately, as currently designed, matters such as owner intent, housing need, impact on amenity, whether the land has planning permission or, not does not form part of their consideration.
    Appeals can be posted to: The Secretary, An Bord Pleanála, 64 Marlborough Street, Dublin 1, D01 V902 or delivered in person to a member of ABP staff at ABP offices (address above) during office hours – Monday to Friday from 9.15am to 5.30pm.

    ABP have 16 weeks to make their decision, and will notify both the land owner and Local Authority that they:

    1. Confirm the Local Authority’s determination;
    2. Set aside the Local Authority’s determination and allow the appeal, or
    3. Partially confirm the Local Authority’s determination and set aside part of the Local Authority’s determination and allow the appeal in part.

    In forming their decision ABP are restricted to 3 key information sources – 1) your grounds of appeal; 2) the Local Authority determination; and 3) any additional information on the servicing or use of the land which ABP may request from the landowner, Local Authority or other key stakeholders (requested within 21 days of appeal receipt).

    In cases where ABP has not issued a determination one month prior to the publication of the final map (on Dec 1st ’23), the map will include the land in question. However, you may seek a deferral of liability until the appeal has been determined. If the appeal is subsequently successful, you will no longer be liable; however if the appeal is not successful, you will be liable for the tax deferred during the relevant period.

    One final, but important, thing for all farmers to remember is that updated or supplementary maps will be issued on May 1st ’23. Keep an eye and review these maps too to make sure you know where you stand on any potential liability to the RZLT.

    Further information on Residential Zoned Land Tax can be found here

    Prepared: April 3rd 2023

    Important: This IFA document is being provided for information purposes and as a guide only, and is not professional advice, including legal advice. We would encourage members to seek professional input as required.

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