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Valuation Office

Dáil Éireann Debate, Wednesday - 23 January 2013

Wednesday, 23 January 2013

Questions (49)

Mick Wallace

Question:

49. Deputy Mick Wallace asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform if, in view of the early retirement of many senior valuers and the freeze on public sector recruitment, the Valuation Office is sufficiently resourced in order to accelerate the programme of revaluation of commercial premises, as per the Action Plan for Jobs; the number of times section 40 of the 2001 Valuation Act has been exercised by the Valuation Office and the criteria and processes by which this section has been used; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [3049/13]

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Written answers (Question to Public)

The Commissioner of Valuation is independent in the exercise of his duties under the Valuation Act, 2001 and the carrying out of valuations for rating purposes is his sole prerogative and the Act does not accord me as Minister any function in this regard.

The current staffing complement of the Valuation Office is 135, representing 132.4 whole time equivalent posts. The appointment of officers to carry out the revaluation of properties is the function of the Commissioner which he exercises under his powers of delegation set out in section 11 of the Act.

The Valuation (Amendment) (No. 2) Bill, 2012 which had its second stage reading in Seanad Éireann on 11th October, 2012 provides for a number of initiatives to accelerate the overall revaluation programme, such as the piloting of a self-assessment scheme of valuation in one local authority area, which if it proves successful could be extended to other areas. There is also provision in the Bill to allow for the assessment of valuations by contract valuers under an external delivery scheme which would also be initiated as a pilot project. The Bill also contains provisions to streamline the overall process of revaluation and the appeal mechanisms available to ratepayers subsequent to the revaluation.

Section 40 of the Valuation Act provides for amendment of the valuation lists in relation to “similarly circumstanced” property arising from decisions of the Valuation Tribunal, the High Court or the Supreme Court. The Section has been exercised on 464 occasions and there are currently 56 cases under consideration. The criteria and processes to be employed by the Commissioner are matters for his decision in each particular case as the circumstances require, in accordance with the provisions of the Act.

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