New research by the Economic and Social Research Institute suggests that an owner occupier residential property tax of 0.4% of the value of each property could raise up to €1.1bn for the exchequer.

The institute's research found that the average amount of tax that a homeowner would have to pay would be around €950 a year, or around €80 a month.

The ESRI says there is a strong argument for such a tax.

It also suggests that there may be a role for a property tax on the rental sector, although the rationale would be different.

The average impact of such a tax would represent a fall of 1.3% in people's disposable income.

The ESRI suggests that as part of the establishment of the property tax, all 1.7m houses in the State would have to be valued.

But it says this could be done within two years using a computerised system combined with the skills of a team of valuers.

Revaluations would have to be done every five years.

Lower income individuals could be exempt from the tax, the ESRI says, or have their bill reduced by a waiver or income cut off system.

It also suggests that the tax bills of older people could be rolled up against the eventual sale of the property.

It does warn, however, that a balance would have to be struck to avoid people on lower incomes and the unemployed getting stuck in a poverty trap or becoming disincentivised from returning to work as a result of the tax.

It suggests there should be a marginal relief rate, which would see a gradual reduction in the home owners exemption from the tax, as their income increases.

This, it says, would reduce the amount of revenue generated to about 80% or 90% of what would be raised through a simple property tax.

Dubliners would pay over half of the property tax, which is more than its share in the total number of houses nationwide.

The ESRI suggests a transitional arrangement would be needed so that people who recently bought houses and paid stamp duty would not be forced to pay a second tax on the property.

However, housing organisation Threshold has said that the Government needs to think very carefully before introducing a property tax.

Aideen Hayden, Chairman of Threshold, said if a property tax is to be implemented, it needs to be introduced in a way, which will not place a further burden on people who can not shoulder it.

She said it was tempting to look at a property tax as a golden goose, but the market is still very unstable so even implementing a tax based on values would be problematic.

Ms Hayden also pointed out that 200,000 home owners are in negative equity, 36,000 are in arrears of three months or more and many older people have lost their savings through soured investments.

She also claimed it was likely that the numbers finding it difficult to repay their mortgages would increase.

Ms Hayden added that there was also an issue around the perception that a property tax would be an urban tax, as home owners in cities are forced to pay more for their dwellings and would therefore pay a disproportionate amount of tax.