Thursday, 15 July 2021
Department of Finance
171. To ask the Minister for Finance if he will give consideration to the introduction of new arrangements for the collection of the vacant site levy whereby the Revenue Commissioners would take over responsibility for collection based on a self-certification system in order to bring these sites into use for housing development and in view of the inability of local authorities to collect these levies; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [39061/21]
In the context of my reply to the Deputy's priority question regarding the Vacant Site Levy of 15 June 2021 (question number 32046/21) I indicated that I am giving consideration to the future of the Vacant Site Levy, its role and whether there is a case for it to be strengthened. On that occasion the Deputy mentioned a suggestion from a legal practitioner as to how to enhance the operation and effectiveness of the levy. I am advised that the proposal concerned was made to the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage by a legal practitioner. My understanding is that the suggestion is to introduce an element of self-assessment under which the onus would lie on a landowner to register their site with the local authority and pay the Vacant Site Levy. The proposer considers that making the levy self-assessed would help to release residential land banks at reasonable prices and in turn enable builders to provide affordable homes. I am considering the issue in consultation with my colleague, the Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage.
Options and approaches to address the housing challenge are continuously being assessed by the relevant Departments including my Department. I understand that this particular suggestion has been noted in the context of inter-Departmental discussions and will help to inform the deliberations on future actions.