Frequently Asked Questions on Rates

What are Rates?
Rates are a property-based source of income for Local Authorities.  The income from rates underpins the entire range of services provided by Local Authorities.  The Council’s Revenue Expenditure for the current year is €82.9 million.  Income from Limerick City Council’s Rates will amount to over 35% of the total Revenue Budget.  Rates income is a very important source of income for Limerick City Council therefore, the timely collection of rates is vitally important for the efficient running of the City Council.

What does my Rates pay for?
Some of the services supported by the City Rates are:
Housing
Library Service
Fire Services
Cemeteries
Higher Education Grants
Community and Voluntary Services
Water & Waste Water Services
Road Maintenance and Improvement
Planning and Development
Parks, Amenity Areas and Playgrounds
Environmental Services
Further details on the above services are available in the document:
Budget 2012.

Who Pays Rates?
Generally the person liable for the payment of rates is the person in occupation of a rateable property at the date of the making of the rate.  Exceptions to this are: (i) if the property is vacant at the date of the making of the rate, the owner is liable, and (ii) where the person who had liability for rates defaults on payment, a subsequent occupier can be held liable for two years rates arrears owed by the previous occupier.
 
How is my Rates Bill Calculated?
The rate bill is calculated by multiplying the “Rateable Valuation” by the “Rate on Valuation”. 
Rateable Valuation is decided by the Commissioner of Valuation. 
Rate on Valuation is set annually by the Members of Limerick City Council at the Budget Meeting. 
Example:
Rateable Valuation of Property as determined by the Valuation Office = €50.00
Limerick City Council’s Rate on Valuation for 2012 = €74.9342
Rates due for 2012 = €3,746.71 (€50.00 * €74.9342)
 
What is the current Rate of Valuation?
Limerick City Council’s Rate of Valuation for 2012 is €74.9342  
 
When are Rates Payable?
Rates are payable in two moieties per year.  The first moiety is payable upon issue of the yearly Rates Demand, normally during the month of February.  The second and final moiety is due on the 1st July.
 
How can I pay my Rates?
Payment may be made directly to the Cash Office located on the Ground Floor of City Hall, or by post to Accounts Receivable, Limerick City Council, City Hall, Limerick.  The Cash Office is open for payments Monday to Friday 9:15 am to 4:15 pm.
We accept: Credit Card/Laser/Mastercard, Cheque, Postal or Paying Order. 
You may also pay by : Standing Order, Direct Debit, or Electronic Transfer.  Download  Direct Debit Form (73 Kb). 

Limerick City Council's bank account details are as follows:
Bank name: AIB, 106-108 O'Connell Street, Limerick
Account name: Limerick City Council
Bank sort code: 93-52-47
Bank a/c no.: 87117156
 
I am in difficulty with my Rates Bill - What should I do?
Please contact your Revenue Collector as soon as possible and your situation can be discussed in confidence.
 
How do I contact my Revenue Collector?

Aoife Madden  
Tel: +353 61 407356
Email: amadden@limerickcity.ie

Pat Skehan
Tel: +353 61 407362
Email: pskehan@limerickcity.ie

Rob Wallace
Tel: +353 61 407103
Email: rwallace@limerickcity.ie

John Kennedy
Tel: +353 61 407219
Email: jkennedy@limerickcity.ie
 
What happens if there is a Change of Occupant mid-year?
Legally the occupant at the date of making the rate is liable for the full rates for the year.  Frequently, the purchaser and seller may agree on an apportionment of the rates, with the seller (or departing tenant) paying rates for the period up to departure, and the purchaser (or new tenant) paying the balance.  Please advise the Rates Department if you are moving into or vacating a premises.
 
I am taking over a premises - What should I do about the Rates?
It is very important to check with the Rates Section that all rates are paid up to date.  Otherwise you will be liable for unpaid rates – this is known as “subsequent occupier” liability.
 
What is Subsequent Occupier Liability?
A subsequent occupier can be liable for arrears of rates for up to two years from the making of the rate. It is up to the new occupier to ensure that all rates, including the current year's rates, and all other liabilities, i.e. water charges, etc. have been paid before the closing of a sale or the assignment of a lease of any rateable property. Information can be obtained from the Rates Section regarding outstanding balances in respect of rates and water charges due on properties.  

My rateable valuation is too high or I think I am entitled to an exemption from rates?
Persons aggrieved at their valuations may list the property for revision, subject to the payment of a €250 fee.  Contact the Commissioner of Valuation: 
Valuation Office
Irish Life Centre
Lower Abbey Street
Dublin 1
Telephone: (01) 817 1000
 
My property is vacant.  Am I entitled to a refund?
In the case of a vacant property, a ratepayer is required to pay the full rates due, but may be entitled to a refund of 1/24th of the assessment for every full month of vacancy, up to a maximum of 50%, provided they fulfill the criteria below:
Premises must be vacant on the date of the making of the rate, for the year being claimed
The premises must have been vacant for one of the following reasons: Vacant for letting (not for sale), or Vacant for repairs or alterations, or Vacant pending demolition or re-development
Documentation in support of the stated reason for vacancy must be submitted, along with a sworn Declaration of Vacancy. A refund can only be made to the party who paid the rates.
(Section 29 Limerick City Management Act, 1934)
Claim for Refund Form (41 Kb) contains all the information on how to qualify for a refund and the documentation needed to accompany the Application.
 
What is the Property Entry Levy (PEL)?
The Property Entry Levy is a charge which the Local Authority applies to all newly erected or newly constructed commercial properties pending the assessment of commercial rates.  It was introduced under the Local Government (Business Improvement Districts) Act 2006.  The levy applies from the date of assessment of the Rateable Valuation of the property until the end of that year.
Example:
Rateable Valuation = €100
Date of assessment of the Rateable Valuation = 3rd May 2012
No. of days to 31st December 2012 = 243
Rate of Valuation for 2012 = €74.9342
PEL = €5,002 (€100 * 74.9342 * 243 / 365)
 
If a property is unoccupied is PEL still payable?
Yes, but the levy is reduced by 50% if all of the following conditions are met:
 
Property was unoccupied at date of assessment of valuation
No person other than the owner is entitled to occupy the property
The owner is genuinely attempting to let the property
If these conditions are met you should contact the Accounts Receivable Office, Rates Section, City Hall on (061) 407140
 
What is a mixed Domestic Allowance?
A "mixed-domestic" allowance can be granted in respect of a premises being used for both domestic and commercial purposes. The allowance is 1/3 of the rateable valuation subject to a maximum of €22.86 whichever is the lesser.
 
If a ratepayer is unhappy with this allowance, they can apply to the Valuation Office for a domestic apportionment.

Last update:07/11/2012

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