Local Government (Rates) Bill 2018 published
The purpose of the Local Government (Rates) Bill 2018 is to modernise and consolidate commercial rates legislation in Ireland. It will restate the power of local authorities to introduce and collect a charge (rate) that will be levied on each relevant property. This Bill also provides for the introduction of targeted rate alleviation (waiver) schemes to support specific policy objectives, provides the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government, with the power to limit the annual rate on valuation determined by the local authority, establishes a database of relevant properties, and places the onus on the seller to inform the local authority of a transfer.
What does the Bill propose?
Among the measures included in the Bill are provisions to allow local authorities to:
- Restate a charge (rate) to be levied on each relevant property of which the current occupier or owner of the property will be liable;
- Form a basis for greater enforcement powers by local authorities in their collection of rates through the appointment of an authorised officer with the necessary powers to carry out certain duties under the proposed Act;
- Provide for the establishment and maintenance of a database of information (to replace the rates book) to be known as the Database of Relevant Properties by the local authority concerned;
- Provide for interest to be applied on any overdue rates (this is a new provision not contained in previous legislation);
- Introduce targeted rate alleviation (waiver) schemes to support specific policy objectives including local economic and community plans, objectives contained in Development Plans and Local Area Plans, and national planning policies;
- Provides for the abatement of rates for vacant properties; and
- Provides that the onus is on the seller of a property to inform the local authority of the transfer.
The SFA welcomes the publishing of this Bill and the Minister’s commitment to modernise and consolidate rates in Ireland. The SFA has consistently called for reform in this area and for the delivery of more efficient and effective services that bring consistent value to the small business community.