Written Answers. - Government Buildings.

Olivia Mitchell

Question:

264 Ms O. Mitchell asked the Minister for Finance the plans he has to respond to the IBEC request to impose rates on Government Buildings. [8150/01]

Rates have never been levied on State-occupied property, that is, mainly property occupied by Government Departments and Offices, Garda stations, Army barracks, prisons, State-occupied harbours and canals occupied by the Minister for Arts, Heritage, Gaeltacht and the Islands. However, a contribution was made to local authorities in lieu of rates from the 1870s until 1987. The contribution was then subsumed into the rates support grant, now the local government fund since 1999.

The Valuation Bill, 2000, does not propose to change the position on the rateability of State-occupied property. The Bill does, however, provide for the Commissioner of Valuation to value these properties in the first revaluation following enactment. This will allow for rates to be col lected in respect of these properties should Government decide in the future to pursue that course of action.