Friday 9 December 2016

Homeowners must pay €100 charge within three months

Fionnan Sheahan and Paul Melia

Published 13/12/2011 | 05:00

THE Government will run a massive ad campaign in the New Year to warn homeowners they have three months to pay the new €100 household charge.

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Around 1.6 million homeowners will be forced to pay the €100 household charge from next month -- and the property tax is inevitably going to rise in future Budgets.

The controversial annual household charge will be passed into law later this week.

Environment Minister Phil Hogan will introduce the necessary legislation in the Dail this afternoon.

The law will oblige every homeowner in the State to pay a €100 fee to help fund local authorities.

The charge must be paid by the end of next March, and a late penalty of €10 will apply if paid within six months of the due date, €20 between six and 12 months, and €30 if the payment is 12 months late.

The payments can be made by post or through a dedicated website, to be operated by the Local Government Management Agency. Payments can also be made by instalment through direct debit four times a year.

Website

The dedicated website has been tested and is ready for operation. But the Government is planning a campaign early in January to tell people about the charge and how to pay it. A nationwide leaflet campaign is also being considered.

Some €160m will be generated in a year, but homeowners can expect a steep rise over the coming years when the charge is replaced with a property tax.

The property tax will be based on the value of the home, with details to be announced in the middle of next year.

People who rent their homes will not pay the charge, as the liability rests with the owner.

Exemptions will apply to unsold properties; social, voluntary or charitable housing; homes owned by the Government or HSE; or where a person is forced to leave their home due to illness.

Exemptions will also apply to people in receipt of mortgage interest supplement, and for those living in certain unfinished housing developments. These developments will be named early in the new year.

Mr Hogan will set out the criteria for exemptions today.

The charge will not mean more funding for local authorities as it will merely replace money cut by the Government from council allocations.

Irish Independent

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