I propose to take Questions Nos. 7 and 21 together.
I understand my Department has clarified with the Deputy that her question relates to statements made in the Dáil on 28 February 2017 rather than on 4 April.
The Deputy will be aware that the qualifying criteria in respect of exemption from LPT for properties with "significant pyritic damage" were modified by the Finance (Local Property Tax) (Amendment) Act 2015 which was signed into law on 20 December 2015. The Act relaxed the qualifying criteria which was one of the recommendations made by Dr. Don Thornhill in his review of the operation of the local property tax on behalf of the Government in 2015. The changes are significant in that where a property has been included in the pyrite remediation scheme by the Pyrite Resolution Board, PRB, without testing, or a property has been remediated by a guarantee company or by a builder or developer or where a party is compensated in lieu of remediation, without testing, Revenue will now accept confirmation of remediation or compensation from the either the PRB or the relevant party for the purposes of exemption without testing or NSAI certification.
In regard to the operation of this exemption, Revenue is obliged to act in accordance with the provisions of the Finance (Local Property Tax) Act 2012, as amended, which requires that an LPT exemption on foot of pyritic damage can only apply to properties meeting specific criteria. A property can only be classified as exempt and the LPT charge eliminated where the level of pyritic damage is confirmed in accordance with the provisions of section 10A of the Act and the relevant documentation is presented to Revenue.
The Act provides that properties that are not exempt are liable for LPT. A property that does not qualify for exemption and continues to be in use or is suitable for use as a dwelling is liable for LPT and must be placed within a valuation band. While the valuation of a property is a matter of self-assessment, a property that is valued between €0 and €100,000 falls within the lowest valuation band, as per section 17 of the Act, and attracts the minimum LPT charge of €90 per annum which may be increased or decreased by up to 15% by the relevant local authority. Therefore, it is not possible for Revenue to grant an exemption or a reduction in the LPT liability on an administrative basis where the property does not qualify for exemption under the criteria set out in section 10A of the Act.
Regarding my response to a supplementary question from the Deputy on 28 February, and in case there is any misunderstanding, let me emphasise the factual position in relation to the LPT charge on such properties. As I outlined at that time, where the property is not exempt there is an opportunity, with the agreement of Revenue, to declare a new valuation which, while not totally eliminating the charge, may result in a significantly reduced liability for the householder. I am glad to have the opportunity to clarify the matter.
Revenue has confirmed that it accepts that the presence of pyrite, whether it has already caused structural damage or has the potential to do so, can have a negative effect on the market value of a property and persons who incorrectly valued their properties in 2013 should advise Revenue of the correct valuation and of the grounds for reducing the original value.