Deputy John Deasy asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government the number of times an order has been made since the enactment of the Valuation Act of 2001 requiring a rating authority to exercise its powers to make rates in such a manner that it does not exceed the amount of rates to be paid to it in the first year following a revaluation, except for any increase determined by the consumer price index.
Reply from Minister Phil Hogan (above): 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. 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.
The Commissioner of Valuation is conducting a programme of revaluation of all commercial and industrial properties throughout the State on a county by county basis. The purpose of the revaluation process is to provide for more consistent and up-to-date valuations for rating purposes and to assist in providing a more equitable distribution of valuations across those liable to pay rates.
To allay concerns that local authorities might gain a disproportionate increase in rates income in the year following a revaluation, a provision was included in the Valuation Act 2001 to limit the overall amount of income it could raise through rates in the year following a revaluation to the total amount of rates liable to be paid to it in the previous year, plus buoyancy (arising from valuations determined in the year of a revaluation of newly constructed property), adjusted for inflation as measured by the CPI.
Rate limitation orders have been made in each of the local authorities to have undergone a revaluation to date, namely, South Dublin County Council, Fingal County Council and Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council. Orders will be drafted for Dublin City Council, Waterford County Council, Waterford City Council and Dungarvan Town Council by year end to take effect from 1 January 2014.