I propose to take Questions Nos. 443 and 444 together.
Local authorities are under a statutory obligation to levy rates on any property used for commercial purposes in accordance with the details entered in the valuation lists prepared by the independent Commissioner of Valuation under the Valuation Act 2001. With regard to the application of rates to child care facilities, where child care provision is within a community facility operating in a non-profit capacity, commercial rates do not generally apply.
The levying and collection of rates are matters for each individual local authority. The annual rate on valuation (ARV), which is applied to the valuation of each property, determined by the Valuation Office, to obtain the amount payable in rates is decided by the elected members of each local authority in the annual budget and its determination is a reserved function.
However, it is a matter for the Commissioner of Valuation to decide whether or not a property is rateable and on what basis it is placed on the valuation list. The Valuation Office comes under the remit of my colleague, the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform.