Sunday 17 December 2017

Rate values due next week

Thousands of rate payers all over Sligo will receive their new rate revaluation certs next Monday.

That's according to the Head of Valuation Services on Rates Revaluation with the Valuation Office, Declan Lavelle.

Mr Lavelle gave a presentation to Sligo County Council at this month's Council meeting.

Properties all over Sligo have been undergoing rates revaluations since October 2015 to bring their Rateable Values back into line with current property rental values.

They haven't been updated since 1988.

Mr Lavelle said the process was not to increase the annual rates income, but rather redistribute it i.e. if one property comes down in value, another property will go up in value.

"For every ¤1 increase in rates somewhere, there's a ¤1 reduction in rates elsewhere," he told members.

The process will be repeated every 5-10 years from now on.

People will have 40 days to appeal their new valuation - by April 24th.

"There's plenty of room on these documents to say what they think so let us know," said Mr Lavelle. Cllr Michael Clarke said: "A large amount of businesses who closed will cite rates as one of the reasons for them going out of business."

Mr Lavelle said that was reflected in the system, whereby if you have a lot of vacant properties you have a drop in rates valuation.

But he also argued that a drop in rates liability "can rejuvenate an area."

He said rural shops and Post Offices were closing everywhere. "Service stations for certain communities have become an economic focal point. The market and world is changing and we have to reflect that," he said.

Newly co-opted Cllr Chris MacManus asked if charities who rent properties would be exempted.

Mr Lavelle said a property occupied by a charity and used for charitable services is exempt. But said that "Retail is not a charitable service, though its proceeds might be used for charity."

"I'm not looking forward to March 20th," said Cllr Joe Queenan. "It will mean more money out of my pocket."

Cllr Paul Taylor asked if creches would be exempt and was told "No, if it's there for the purpose of making a profit it's ratable, even if it's making a loss."

"In your opinion is that right?" said Cllr Taylor. "We only implement policy," said Mr Lavelle.

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