Tuesday, 7 February 2012
Dáil Éireann Debate
317. Deputy Alex White asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government in the absence of official notification whether by electronic or hard copy by either the local authority or the online infrastructure of the NPPR payment system that a charge is due, if he will ensure that all registered accounts receive notification of the charge falling in 2012, in order that persons who have not received notice either of the charge or late payment will not needlessly incur late payment fees; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [6411/12]
Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government (Deputy Phil Hogan): The Local Government (Charges) Act 2009, as amended, broadened the revenue base of local authorities through the introduction of the charge on non-principal private residences. The charge is set at €200 and is being levied and collected by local authorities. The Act places the onus on the owner of a residential property to assess his or her liability to the charge in the first instance.
There is no legal obligation on local authorities to issue notifications, invoices or reminders. In practice, a number of measures are undertaken to assist collection of the charge. Nationwide advertising has taken place in each year since the introduction of the charge in 2009 to ensure general awareness of the charge and the liability dates. In addition, local authorities have undertaken their own advertising campaigns locally. As a shared resource, I understand that reminder notifications were issued by the Local Government Management Agency (LGMA) and local authorities to those who paid the charge last year in respect of their possible liability for 2011.
It is intended that similar advertising will take place in the context of liability for the NPPR in 2012, including reminder notifications from the Local Government Management Agency (LGMA) and local authorities to those who paid the charge last year in respect of their possible liability for 2012. Reasonable efforts have been and will continue to be made to ensure that property owners are aware of the charge and the liability dates. However, the charge is based on self assessment principles and it is a matter for persons with a liability to pay the charge by the due date to avoid late payment fees.
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