17 February 2012 No Comments by The Northern Standard

The Irish Valuation Office was unable to consider reducing the valuation of commercial and industrial properties for rates on the grounds of a downturn of business, the members of Monaghan Co Council were informed at their February meeting.
Members received a presentation from Mr Coleman Forkan, Valuation Office Team Leader, who outlined to them the process by which the valuation for commercial rates was determined and detailed the revaluation programme that his office would be putting into place in future years across the country and which he stated would lead to greater uniformity and equity in the area of rates.
Mr Forkan stated that he could not give a precise time for the carrying out of the revaluation of Co Monaghan properties, but it was expected that this exercise would be completed in its entirety in the country in the next six years.
The plight faced by many Co Monaghan businesses that were struggling to meet their rates payments was emphasised to the Valuation Office official by the elected members of the Council, who also called for the revaluation process in Co Monaghan to be expedited.
Mr Forkan told the meeting that the core function of the Valuation Office was to provide a rateable valuation service to local authorities – they also provided a service to Government Departments and local authorities in the valuation of property.
He described commercial rates as an annual property tax levied by local authorities on the occupiers of commercial and industrial property. Local authorities levied commercial rates on the basis of valuations provided to them by the Valuation Office.
He pointed out that the valuation of a property was based on its annual rental value at the time of valuation. This was multiplied by the annual rate on valuation (ARV) to give the amount of commercial rates payable per annum. The rate on valuation was determined by the local authority each year as part of their annual Budget process.
Mr Forkan said that, under the Valuation Act of 2001, provision was made for a revaluation of all commercial and industrial property in Ireland. This process began in late 2005 in the local authority area of South Dublin Co Council, and was now continuing on a phased basis in other local authority areas. Work began on revaluation in Waterford in December of last year.
“The purpose of a revaluation is to bring more equity and fairness to the local authority rating system,” the Valuation Office representative stated.
Following the revaluation process there would be a much closer and uniform relationship between the rental value of properties and their liability for commercial rates.
Detailing the process involved in the revision of valuations placed on properties, Mr Forkan said that revision could only take place if there was a material change of circumstances, such as a new building development, an extension to an existing building or the demolition of part of it, or visible changes altering its value.
“We can’t revise a building if someone sends in a request stating that their turnover is down 25%,” he pointed out.
He said that approximately 5,000 revision requests were received by the Valuation Office per annum.
Excluded from liability for rates were houses …

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