Tuesday, 10 February 2015
Department of Environment, Community and Local Government
Commercial Rates Valuation Process
562. To ask the Minister for Environment, Community and Local Government his views on setting up an expert group to examine ways to rebalance and update the commercial rate structure, to make it fairer. [5554/15]
Local authorities are under a statutory obligation to levy rates on any property used for commercial purposes in accordance with the details entered in the valuation lists prepared by the independent Commissioner of Valuation under the Valuation Act 2001. The Commissioner of Valuation has sole responsibility for all valuation matters, including the method of valuation. The Valuation Act 2001 comes under the remit of my colleague, the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform.
The annual rate on valuation (ARV), which is applied to the valuation for each property determined by the Valuation Office to obtain the amount payable in rates, is decided by the elected members of each local authority in the annual budget and its determination is a reserved function.
The Commissioner of Valuation, who has sole responsibility for all valuation matters, is conducting a programme of revaluation of all commercial and industrial properties throughout the State on a county by county basis. The national revaluation programme is the first general valuation since the middle of the 19th century, and it is a significant undertaking. If there is to be a fair distribution of the rates burden then valuation should be based on modern rental values.
I am informed by my colleague, the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, that, following the completion of the revaluation of the four local authority areas in Dublin, the three former local authorities in Waterford and the revaluation of Limerick, over 48,000 properties have been revalued. While this represents in excess of 33% of all rateable properties, it constitutes about 57% of the valuation base for levying rates. The Valuation Act 2001 provides that the valuation be carried out on a rolling basis. This means that each rating authority area will be separately valued as part of a planned sequential valuation of the whole country. The sequence is decided by the Commissioner of Valuation, who is independent in carrying out his function. Valuation Orders for the revaluation of further Local Authority areas are expected to be made by the Commissioner in the near future.
The Valuation (Amendment) (No.2) Bill 2012, which was initiated in the Seanad, was passed by that House on 20th November 2014 and is scheduled to be introduced in the Dáil shortly. The primary purpose of the Bill is to introduce measures that will enable the Commissioner of Valuation to accelerate the national programme of revaluation of all commercial and industrial properties across the State. The measures included in the Bill include provisions for Outsourcing, Occupier Assisted Valuation and the use of computer-aided techniques.