State bodies and builders appeal liability for levy on 'vacant' sites
Public bodies and landowners in control of sites valued at more than €80m are fighting attempts to make them pay the vacant site levy.
An Bord Pleanála is dealing with almost 30 appeals from receivers, public bodies, private developers and landowners, who claim their lands should not have been included on a vacant site register. This leaves them liable for a 3pc levy on the land's value from January 2019, rising to 7pc the following year.
Among the bodies that have lodged appeals are the HSE, CIÉ and the OPW, along with property giants IRES Reit, Ballymore and Cairn Homes and receivers.
They claim that Dublin City Council, South Dublin County Council and Waterford City and County Council should not have classed their lands as being 'vacant'.
As things stand, they would be obliged to pay a levy in just over 14 months if the sites in question remain undeveloped.
The levy applies to land considered suitable for housing development but which is lying idle. The rate was increased in the Budget in an effort to spur owners to utilise their sites.
An Bord Pleanála will decide on the appeals over the coming months.