Wednesday, 10 July 2013

Questions (187, 188, 203)

Martin Heydon

Question:

187. Deputy Martin Heydon asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government if his attention has been drawn to the fact that certain final reminder notices sent in relation to the payment of the non-principal private residence charge due on 30 June 2013 were not received until after the closing date as in the case of a person (details supplied); if he will outline the procedures that are in place to ensure this does not happen; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [33678/13]

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Noel Coonan

Question:

188. Deputy Noel Coonan asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government if he will outline the way the penalties for late payment of the non-principal private residence charge were calculated; the methodology behind the penalties being charged; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [33843/13]

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Noel Coonan

Question:

203. Deputy Noel Coonan asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government the way in which the penalties for late payment of the local property tax were calculated; the methodology behind the penalties being charged; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [33842/13]

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Written answers (Question to Environment)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 187, 188 and 203 together.

I understand that Question No. 203 concerns the non-principal private residence charge. 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. Section 6 of the 2009 Act, as amended, provides that the owner of a liable property who fails to pay the charge, in addition to his or her being liable to pay the charge, is liable to pay to the relevant local authority a €20 late payment fee in respect of each month or part of a month in which the charge, any late payment fee, or any part of such charge or fee, remains unpaid.

Under the Act, it is a function of a local authority to collect non-principal private residence charges 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. I have issued guidelines to local authorities in relation to the operation of the “care and management” provisions of the legislation in instances in which genuine hardship in having to discharge a liability in a single payment can be demonstrated. Queries concerning non-principal private residence charge operational matters, such as the issuing of reminder letters, should be directed to the relevant local authority or authorities.