Rates

What are Rates?

Rates are a local property tax, the income from which is used to fund the general provision of services throughout the county. Rates do no represent payment for any particular service provided to any specific ratepayer. Rates are payable on commercial/industrial properties and some other non-domestic properties.

What is the Annual Rate on Valuation & how is it calculated?

Following the consideration of the Annual Budget each year, the elected members determine the Annual Rate on Valuation for the following year. The Annual Rate on Valuation is the product obtained when the total shortfall in Council income is divided by the cumulative total of all valuations of rateable premises in the county. The shortfall between the cost of providing all services and the income from Government funding is recouped through the collection of Rates. The Annual Rate on Valuation usually increases in line with the annual rate of inflation.

Annual Rate on Valuation since 1998 in Leitrim County Council.

Year Annual Rate Increase %

1998     39.69         4

1999     41.67         5

2000     43.34         4

2001     45.50         5

2002     48.46         5.8

2003     51.37         6.6

2004     53.42         4

2005     56.09         5

2006     58.05         3.5

2007     60.08         3.5

2008     62.78         4.5

2009     62.78         0

2010     62.15        -1

2011      62.15         0

2012      62.15         0

2013      62.15         0

2014      62.15         0

2015      62.15         0


How are rates calculated?

Your rates are calculated by multiplying the Annual Rate on Valuation, as determined by the County Council, by the valuation on your property, as determined by the Commissioner of Valuation. Your rates can be calculated by reference to this simple example:-

Valuation of Rates on Valuation Rates

Property (2015) Payable

€50     €62.15     €3,107.50

Why do rates increase each year?

The cost of provision of services by the Council increases each year and the increase in the Rate on Valuation, which is generally in line with inflation, serves to fund in part the increased cost of providing services.

Who can be held liable for rates?

The person liable for rates is the person in actual occupation at the making of the rate for the year 2015 or upon his/her default the subsequent occupier. A subsequent occupier can be held liable for up to two years arrears of rates. In cases where the property is vacant at the making of the rate the liability lies with the person entitled to occupy the property at the making of the rate (the leaseholder or if there is no lease – the owner).

What happens if I don’t pay my rates?

Legal proceedings will be initiated for collection of the debt.

Are rates payable on vacant property?

In cases where the property is vacant at the making of the rate the liability lies with the person entitled to occupy the property at the making of the rate (the leaseholder or if there is no lease – the owner). However, if a property is vacant at the making of the rate, due to;

The bonafide inability of the landlord to obtain a suitable tenant at a reasonable rent

The execution of repairs/alterations

Then upon completion of the Vacancy Refund Form and declaration and submission of supporting evidence confirming the fulfilment of either of the above conditions – a refund of rates paid in advance of the application can be claimed for every completed month during which the premises were vacant. This is in accordance with the

Local Government Act 1946, Section 14(1). Number 24 of 1946. __________

NO. 24/1946: LOCAL GOVERNMENT ACT, 1946.14. –

(1) Where a hereditament which is situated in a county but not in an urban area and which is not a small dwelling within the meaning of the Local Government (Rates on Small Dwellings) Act, 1928 (No.4 of 1928), is unoccupied at the making of the county rate, such rate shall be made upon the person (in this section referred to as the owner) who is for the time being entitled to occupy the hereditament and, upon such rate being paid by the owner, he shall be entitled to claim and receive from the council of the county a refund of one-twelfth of such rate in respect of every completed month (reckonedfrom any day of one month to the corresponding day of the next month) during which the hereditament is unoccupied either for the purpose of the execution of additions ,alterations or repairs thereto or because the owner is bone fide unable to obtain a suitable tenant therefore, in the case of a hereditament to which the Rent Restrictions Act, 1946 (No.4 of 1946), for the time being applies, at the maximum rent for the time being permitted under that Act or, in the case of any other hereditament, at a reasonable rent.

However if there are rates due at the point when the refund is to be paid then the Local Authority are empowered to set-off the monies from the refund against this debt.

(This is in accordance with Section 58 of the Local Government Act, 1941) –

Number 23 of 1941

No. 23/1941: LOCAL GOVERNMENT ACT, 1941.

Discharge of rates by setting off.58. – Where a sum is due to any person by a local authority and, at the same time, a sum is due to such local authority by such person in respect of rates or would be so due but for the fact that such sum has been advanced and paid to such local authority by a rate collector, the former sum may be set off against the latter either, as may be appropriate, in whole or in part.

What do I do if another company occupies part of my premises and I’m paying rates for the entire premises?Upon submission of sufficiently clear information, such as measurements, indicating what areas are occupied by each respective occupier and what said areas are used for, the Rates Section of the County Council will temporarily apportion the valuation of the premises in accordance with the information provided.

Please note however, that the Council can only temporarily apportion the valuation between occupiers. The power to permanently review the actual level of the valuation resides with the Valuation Office and after the Council has apportioned the valuation the occupier must make a request to the Valuation Office to have the valuation revised.

The result of a revision request to apportion a property’s valuation will be effective in the year after the publication of the result by the Valuation Office. If the outcome of the request is published in 2007, rates are payable in 2008 on the valuation as determined by the Valuation Office but in the interim are payable based on the County Council’s aportionment.

What happens with rates when I am selling or vacating my property?

It is normal practice at the time of a sale or transfer of property that an apportionment account be drawn up between the parties concerned, whereby each party pays the portion of rates for his/her period of occupancy. However, this is an entirely private arrangement, which does not affect liability as far as the Local Authority is concerned. In the event of non-payment of rates due at the time of sale either party or both parties can be sued for non-payment of any portion of the rates.

Can rates be paid by direct debit/standing order?

Yes. Upon completion and submission of a direct debit mandate, payments for rates will be deducted from your account on monthly basis on the first Friday after the 15th of each month. If, for any reason any payment defaults, it will be added to the outstanding rates and the monthly payment will be adjusted upwards. The instruction to your bank will be to pay the Local Authority variable amounts from your account at your request. You will appreciate that the instruction needs to be for variable amounts because the payment due alters from year to year.

Guarantees from Leitrim County Council:

Direct Debits presented to the bank account named in your Instruction will only be for amounts due as detailed in the demand issued at the beginning of each year, spread over the full calendar year.

In the unlikely event of Direct Debits being presented in error, you can obtain an immediate refund from your Bank.

You can cancel the Instruction simply by informing your Bank and advising us accordingly.

The monthly instalment will be debited soon after, but not earlier than 15th of each month.

What can I do if I am unhappy with the rates I am paying for my property?

The valuation of a property is determined by the Commissioner of Valuation, Valuation Office, Irish Life Centre, Abbey Street Lower, Dublin 1. No alteration can be made to the rates assessment of a ratepayer until such time as the valuation of a property is amended by the Commissioner of Valuation.

When the valuation office value the property, a draft certificate will be issued directly to the occupier /owner. If you are not happy with the valuation as determined on the draft certificate, it is critical the occupier/owner make their views known to the Valuation Office at this stage, at no cost. A ratepayer or the Local Authority can seek to have the valuation on a property revised. On completion of an application form R2.A which can be obtained from either the Local Authority or the Valuation Office, and submission of same to the Valuation Office, and payment of €250 to “The Commissioner of Valuation” a revision officer from the Valuation Office will call in due course to the property, in order to conduct a revision of the valuation.

Once a valuation is determined by the valuation office, and no appeal has been lodged, can it be reviewed?

No. If an appeal has not been lodged within the relevant time frame, then no further right of appeal exists.

As a result of their inspection and consultation with the ratepayer they may decide to increase or reduce the valuation or to leave it unchanged. The outcome of this process will become effective for rating purposes in the subsequent year. While the revision process is ongoing rates assessed on the existing valuation remain legally payable. The Local Authority is also empowered to apply for new properties to be valued or for the valuation on existing properties which have undergone amendments/alterations to be revised.

For further information on revisions and valuations you can contact the Valuation Office at 01 8171000, email: info@valoff.ie or log on to www.valoff.ie. The Commissioner’s decisions are made available to the Council on a monthly basis.

Can the result of a revision application be appealed?

An appeals procedure exists for persons aggrieved by the Commissioner’s decision at Revision stage. Appeal application forms are issued by the Valuation Office upon issue of the Valuation Certificate or Notice resulting from the revision application. These forms are also available from the Local Authority or can be downloaded from this site.

As is the case with revision applications rates assessed on the current effective valuation remain legally payable while the appeal is being considered. If any refund or increase is applicable to the ratepayers account it will be applied once the result has been issued to the Local Authority. Appeals must be lodged within 40 days from a date specified by the Commissioner of Valuation and a completed form must be accompanied by the appropriate fee, payable to the Commissioner of Valuation, a schedule of these fees is as follows:-

Valuation as determined by Appeal Fee

Commissioner of Valuation

not exceeding €50 €60

exceeding €50 not exceeding €150 €125

exceeding €150 not exceeding €650 €250

€650 and over €375

The result of the appeal as determined by the Valuation Office becomes effective for rating purposes at the same date as the revision on which the valuation in question was issued i.e. if a valuation is issued on a revision in 2011, rates become payable in 2012 and if your appeal is upheld then any reduction or increase as a result of the appeal will be effective at the start of 2012.

If dissatisfied with the outcome of the appeal procedure the ratepayer can appeal to the Valuation Tribunal. Further information is available on www.valuation-trib.ie

Fees payable for lodging applications to the Valuation Tribunal are as follows:-

Valuation as determined by Tribunal Appeal Fee

Commissioner of Valuation

not exceeding €50.00 €95.00

exceeding €50.00 not exceeding

€150.00 €125.00

exceeding €150.00 not exceeding €650.00 €300.00

€650.00 and over €500.00

Rates assessed on the current effective valuation remain legally payable while the tribunal appeal is being considered. If any refund or increase if applicable to the ratepayers account it will be applied once the result has been issued to the Local Authority.

For further information on Appeals & Tribunal Appeals please contact the Valuation Office at 01 8171000, email info@valoff.ie or log on to www.valoff.ie or www.valuation-trib.ie at Floor 1, Ormond House, Ormond Quay Upper, Dublin 7 or call 01 8728277 or fax: 01 8728060.

Are Community Halls exempt from rates?

A list of property not rateable is included in Schedule 4 of the Valuation Act, 2001.

There is also a provision for a grant of full relief from rates on an annual basis provided that the Community Hall Relief Application form is correctly completed and an inspection conducted by an official from the Rates Dept. verifies the use of the property is as a community hall. This process requires that an inspection is conducted each year and details submitted by the applicant in order to determine if relief is granted each year.

What payment methods are available for rates?

Rates can be paid by the following methods –

Cheque

Cash

Postal/Paying Order

Credit Card/Laser Card

Direct Debit/Standing Order

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