Thursday, 15 July 2021
Department of Housing, Planning, and Local Government
237. To ask the Minister for Housing, Planning, and Local Government 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. [39062/21]
Under the vacant site levy provisions in the Urban Regeneration and Housing Act 2015, planning authorities were empowered to apply a vacant site levy of 3% of the market valuation of relevant properties which were listed on local authority vacant site registers in 2018, which relevant owners were liable to pay in January 2019. The rate of the levy increased to 7% for sites listed on local authority vacant sites register from 2019 onwards which site owners became liable to pay in January 2020.
My Department proactively engages with local authorities with a view to ensuring that the vacant site levy achieves its full potential in terms of bringing concerned sites into productive use. In this regard, my Department issued Circular Letter PL 03/2021 on 8 March 2021 requesting the submission of a progress report on the collection of the levy by each local authority. The progress reports received from planning authorities in response to Circular PL 03/2021 are currently being examined in greater detail by my Department to consider, amongst other things, what further implementation supports may be required. My Department will continue to engage proactively with local authorities to ensure that all vacant site levies due are paid and that the measure can achieve its full potential.
In this context, as provided for in the Programme for Government, the legislation is being kept under review.