Tuesday, 20 October 2020
Department of Housing, Planning, and Local Government
271. To ask the Minister for Housing, Planning, and Local Government the reason the Valuations Office is bringing parties from other counties to Dublin during level 3 restrictions for face-to-face hearings in view of the fact that these bodies have the facilities to convene such hearings remotely; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [31117/20]
I am taking the reference in the question to be to the Valuation Tribunal rather than the Valuation Office, as the Tribunal is the independent appeal body established and operating under the Valuation Acts of 1988 and 2001 to deal with, inter aliaappeals against decisions of the Commissioner of Valuation on the valuation of commercial properties for rating purposes.
The judgments made by the Valuation Tribunal influence directly the ability of both the business sector and local authorities to operate with fiscal certainty. In this context, the Tribunal is attempting to facilitate as many appeals as possible having regard to the necessary restrictions.
The Tribunal commenced hearing appeals remotely at the end of July 2020. These remote hearings are mostly quantum based rather than legal and are facilitated where, in the main, there is only one party attending from the appellant and the respondent.
The Tribunal is cognisant that not all appeals are suitable for disposal by remote hearing and has accordingly held a limited number of oral appeals with additional measures in place to protect the safety of all those who attend the hearing.