More than 1m properties registered for household tax
THE NUMBER of houses and apartments that have been registered for the household charge has exceeded one million, according to the latest figures from the Local Government Management Agency.
As of Friday last, 1,014,585 properties had been registered. The charge had been paid with regard to some 989,095, while a waiver had been registered for in 19,490 cases. The other 6,000 applications were awaiting resolution of queries.
The number of people applying for waivers means income from the charge has yet to top the €100 million mark. So far, €99.8 million has been collected in charges and late fees. The tax is €100, but those paying since August 1st owe €115 including penalties and interest.
A spokeswoman for the agency said it would expect that €100 million will have been collected in the coming weeks, if not days.
According to Department of the Environment figures, about 600,000 homeowners have yet to register to pay the charge.
More than 100,000 warning letters were sent by city and county councils last month to homeowners who had failed to pay. A second round of letters will be sent to another 100,000 households in the coming weeks.
Almost all those who received letters will have been second-home owners already liable for the non-principal private residence or second home tax. These homeowners were identified using the NPPR database and the register of private rented accommodation held by the Private Residential Tenancies Board.
The second round of letters will also include non-payers who have been identified using sources such as the Revenue Commissioners, ESB Networks and the Department of Social Protection.
Local authorities were due to begin sending the second batch of letters, but the spokeswoman for the Local Government Management Agency said it was still working with local authorities and other State agencies in matching information and compiling a database of non-payers.
In the meantime, more letters will be sent to landlords who have not registered properties for the charge. Landlords should be aware they must pay the household charge in addition to the non-principal private residence charge, the spokeswoman said.
Letters will continue to be sent in batches of about 100,000. Once all homeowners who have not paid have received a letter, those who persist in not paying will be sent a second which will be “more strongly worded”, a spokesman for the department said.
A third letter is to advise non-payers of court proceedings.
Local authorities are facing the prospect of making cuts to services as a result of the deficit in payments of the household charge.
Minister for the Environment Phil Hogan has advised county and city managers that he is withholding funds because of the shortfall in revenue from the charge.
The reduction in funding will vary between local authorities, but will range from 5 to 15 per cent.