Fingal County Council's offices

THE council, which last week voted to increase local property taxes next year, could be losing out on a significant amount of income due to uncollected commercial rates.

A backlog in revising and revaluing commercial buildings by the valuations office could mean that Fingal is potentially missing out on millions in uncollected rates, Cllr Paul Donnelly (SF) has claimed.

Revaluation is a process where all rateable properties in a local authority area are valued periodically by reference to a single valuation date.

Following the first revaluation, subsequent revaluations of each rating authority area will then be carried out on a cyclical basis no sooner than five years and no later than ten years after the first revaluation in accordance with Section 25 of the Valuation Act 2001.

Revision is intended to reflect structural changes to individual properties or the addition to the valuation lists of new properties between revaluations.

The issue was raised by Cllr Paul Donnelly at a council meeting during the debate on the raising of Local Property Tax.

The council voted to increase the property tax for 2018 but Cllr Donnelly said that significantly more money could be raised by targeting the backlog in commercial rates.

He said: “I understand that 89 properties have been front loaded by the valuation office.

“If we can extrapolate that 89 to the 400 that are unrated we are talking potentially another €4m or €5m.”

Cllr Donnelly added that he felt it was extremely unfair that councillors were being asked to increase tax on homeowners when the correct commercial rates were potentially going uncollected.

The valuation office confirmed that there were currently 396 properties awaiting revaluation or revision in Fingal.

A spokesperson said: “For the year to date 43 revision applications including 33 new properties have been dealt with in the council rating authority area.

“A further 216 revision applications are being worked on by valuers and those valuations will issue shortly.

“The number of applications for revision of valuation in respect of the council rating authority area currently awaiting assignment to valuers in the valuation office is 396 of which circe 150 relate to new properties.

“All revision applications relating to new properties in the Fingal County Council rating authority area are due to be dealt with before the end of 2017.”