Journal of Property Tax Assessment & Administration


Property tax incentives or selective waivers have been used extensively in Ireland in the last 25 years to stimulate property development and investment for urban regeneration. This paper investigates their prolonged use and examines their contributory role in the property crash and resulting financial crisis in 2008. Prolonged interventions can result in extensive distortion of property market operations. As a result, interventions aimed at revitalising a failing market become embedded in market processes to the extent that they may contribute to a more general subsequent market failure. This paper examines the recent experience in the use of tax incentives in urban regeneration in Dublin during the period 1986–2011. The effects of the property- and area-based tax incentive schemes initiated under the Finance Act of 1986 and Urban Renewal Act of 1986 are examined. The paper provides an overview of the benefits, costs, and impacts of the incentives from an urban development market perspective. The tax schemes are examined in terms of the rationale for their introduction and their effectiveness in operation from the public exchequer perspective. This examination is placed in the context of current debates on urban regeneration and the use of fiscal incentives in an international perspective. In order to gain insight into the specific performance of the incentives in relation to policy objectives, selected interviews were carried out to obtain the opinions of policy makers and planning interests.

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Tax incentives