Tuesday, 12 March 2013

Questions (406)

Finian McGrath

Question:

406. Deputy Finian McGrath asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government the position regarding the non-principal private residence payment in respect of a person (details supplied) in Dublin 9. [12661/13]

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Written answers (Question to Environment)

The Local Government (Charges) Act 2009, as amended, broadened the revenue base of local authorities by introducing a charge on non-principal private residences. The charge is set at €200 and liability for it falls, in the main, on owners of rental, holiday and vacant properties. It is a matter for an owner, whether resident in Ireland or elsewhere, to determine if he or she has a liability and, if so, to declare that liability and pay the charge.

The provision of information to potentially liable owners was regarded as an important element in the introduction of the Non Principal Private Residence Charge in 2009 and in subsequent years. The associated communication campaign, includes media advertisements funded by my Department, information made available by local authorities, and website hosted information, in circumstances in which the legal onus is on the liable owner to declare liability and make payment has achieved its general goals of raising awareness and encouraging compliance. Much of this information, such as information available online and press advertisements in Irish communities, was available to liable persons living abroad.

Under the Act, it is a function of a local authority to collect the Non Principal Private Residence Charge and late payment fees due to it, and all Charges and late payment fees imposed and payable to a local authority are under the care and management of the local authority concerned. In this regard, application of the legislation in particular circumstances is a matter for the relevant local authority. Guidelines have also been issued to local authorities in relation to the operation of the “care and management” provisions of the Local Government (Charges) Act 2009 and local authorities are expected to implement these guidelines appropriately.