Tens of thousands of householders have received their third threatening letter from a local authority with the warning that they are liable to be summonsed to appear in court if they do not pay their household tax and register within 10 days of receiving the letter.
The vast bulk of the householders who have received these letters are on the State’s database for the second homes tax. In other words they are owners of more than one property.
The majority of these householders are ordinary people with two properties to their name. Sometimes this has come about as a result of an inheritance. In some cases it might involve a person who bought a holiday home during the boom. In others it can involve someone who bought a second property during the boom as a “nest egg” in place of a secure pension.
It is clear from Campaign Against Household and Water Taxes meetings across the state that many of these householders will hang tough and will refuse to be bullied by the letter. This puts the ball back into the court of City and County Managers. Some of these may then choose to issue summonses and court cases could begin some week afterwards.
The Campaign Against Household and Water Taxes will not be representing landlords with a portfolio of properties who are brought before the courts. However, we will energetically defend and mobilise support for ordinary people who find themselves in this first tranche of cases.
The government probably reckon there will be less public support for owners of more than one property and hope to be able to “ride out” whatever protests occur around these cases. No doubt they hope that some of these householders will be clobbered with fines and that this will scare the bulk of single property homeowners into paying up before they get to the summons stage.
That is why the Campaign Against Household and Water Taxes is going to try to build big protests outside the court if anyone is summonsed. It is also a very strong reason why owners of single properties should fully support these protests.
These protests need to be sufficiently large to give the government serious pause for thought about going after owners of single properties and set a strong baseline which shows that if they decide to do so the protests will swell from large to massive.