Farmers should be exempt from the residential zoned land tax, says Sinn Féin.

The party’s agriculture spokesperson Matt Carthy TD said he doesn’t think land that is “being used for agricultural use” should be “zoned for construction”.

“The difficulty is that some land shouldn’t be zoned, because if land isn’t available for development, then it shouldn’t be zoned,” he said.

The Sinn Féin TD also said that if farmers have found their land zoned for the tax, the “onus on removing it shouldn’t be left solely with the farmer”.

“It should be something that local authorities are working and engaging with land owners on at the moment,” he said.

Sinn Féin party leader Mary Lou McDonald TD speaking at the ICMSA conference. \ Don Moloney

On the frustration some farmers are facing having been deemed eligible under the tax, Carthy’s party leader Mary Lou McDonald TD said: “It’s one thing if you seek to have your land rezoned, it’s an entirely different matter if your development plan deems that your land is rezoned.”

The duo was speaking to the Irish Farmers Journal at the Irish Creamery Milk Suppliers Association (ICMSA) AGM in Limerick on Monday.

Land tax

The new residential zoned land tax is designed to incentivise house construction. Farmland is not exempt from the tax, with Minister for Agriculture Charlie McConalogue previously confirming that some 8,000ha is to be eligible.

The tax, which is payable at 3% of the land’s market value before 24 May 2024, has hit some farmers badly, with sizable annual tax bills a possibility.

Farmers have until the end of this year to check if their land has been zoned as suitable for residential use and lodge an appeal to their local authority.

Maps detailing the areas zoned are available here.

Tax relief

On taxation measures, such as the current reliefs afforded to young farmers when inheriting land, Deputy Carthy said Sinn Féin is in favour of maintaining the current approach.

He said that his party will continue the measures to enable young farmers to enter the sector.

Read more

Land tax map: find out if your farm is liable