LONGFORD COUNTY COUNCIL FINANCE DEPARTMENT
Rates are payable in 2 moieties or instalment each year, the first on issue of the rate demand usually during February / March of each year, the second moiety is due on 1st July.
All fixed property has a rateable valuation but rates are only payable on commercial/industrial properties. Domestic rates have been remitted since 1977. Rateable valuations are determined by the Commissioner of Valuation, not by the Local Authority
Requests for revision of valuation are normally instigated by Local Authorities, but any owner or occupier of a rateable property can apply for revision directly to the Valuation Office, provided that there has been a material change in the property since it was previously valued. For further information contact the Valuation Office Tel: 01 817 1000
Rates are calculated by multiplying the annual rates on valuation, as determined by the County Council, by the rateable valuation of your property, as determined by the Valuation Office. The annual rates demand includes this information. For example:
Valuation of property : €100
Annual rate on valuation (2012): €66.01
Rates payable : €100 x €66.01 = €6,601
Rates are due by the occupier of the premises if they are entitled to occupy the premises through ownership or a lease on the day the rate is struck. The occupier is liable for the rates for the whole year irrespective of whether they remain in occupation for the duration of the year or not. If there is a change of occupier during the year, the previous occupier and the new occupier can agree on a division of the rates due between them. New occupiers of commercial premises should check if there are any rates outstanding prior to signing of a lease as they can be held responsible for unpaid rates for up to two years previously.
Non payment of rates is enforceable against the occupier and the subsequent occupier as a commercial debt. Where a business finds they cannot pay the rates when due, they should contact the Income Generation Unit immediately. A payment plan can be agreed which will facilitate payment over an agreed period by monthly or weekly instalment. Where a business cannot pay or refuses to pay the rates due, legal action for recovery of the rates owed will be commenced.
There is no basis for writing off rates due on a trading or occupied premises due to difficult trading conditions. If a business continues in operation, the rates are due and must be paid. Rates can only be written off as irrecoverable where bankruptcy/liquidation proceedings are finalised.
A business that is in financial difficulty can reduce their rates liability by making a permanent division to their property and seeking a revaluation of the subdivided premises with the Valuation Office. Provided (1) the official valuation is revised and apportioned to the subdivided premises (2) the subdivided premises is vacant and advertised as available for letting at a reasonable rent.
Where a premises is vacant over a long period, the owner will be required annually to show that reasonable efforts are being made to let the premises at a reasonable rent. Council staff will periodically check whether a premises continues to be vacant or not.
If a premises is closed due to renovations, application can be made in writing including evidence of renovations to the Income Generation Unit seeking refund of rates paid for each whole month that the premises is closed due to renovations.
Where there is change of occupier, the Income Generation Unit should be contacted immediately and the new occupier details provided including occupier name/name of company, address, company registration no or PPS number, date of commencement of occupation and contact details including phone and email. Where there is any dispute as regards the occupier, a copy of the lease or proof of ownership should be submitted. A form is available from the Income Generation Unit to submit this information. Where a premises is served by a public water supply, a meter reading should be taken from the meter and submitted with the above occupier information.
Any queries in relation to the current valuation of a premises should be directed to the Valuation Office in Dublin. If you believe the valuation of a premises is too high, the premises has not been correctly valued or there has been a permanent change to the layout of the building, you should contact the Valuation Office. The County Council does not determine the valuation of any premises, they simply collect the rates due on the premises.