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Written Answers - Local Authority Charges

Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 760 No. 3

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 385.  Deputy Joanna Tuffy Information on Joanna Tuffy Zoom on Joanna Tuffy  asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government Information on Philip Hogan Zoom on Philip Hogan  if he will consider extending the closing date deadline for payment of the household charge given the confusion about the methods of paying the new charges and other matters that have arisen about this issue and in view of the fact that the Government information leaflets have yet to be delivered to homes around the country; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [16094/12]

Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government (Deputy Phil Hogan): Information on Philip Hogan Zoom on Philip Hogan The Local Government (Household Charge) Act 2011 and the Local Government (Household [863]Charge) Regulations 2012 provide the legislative basis for the household charge. There is a range of options available for persons to pay the household charge. An online system www.householdcharge.ie is in place in the Local Government Management Agency (LGMA) to enable homeowners to pay the household charge by credit/debit card. In addition, homeowners can make payment by cheque, postal order, credit/debit card by completing the mandate on the declaration form and posting it to Household Charge, PO Box 12168, Dublin 1. A bureau is in place in the LGMA to administer the charge on a shared service/agency basis for all local authorities. In addition, all county/city councils have been requested to have arrangements in place for persons to attend their principal offices to pay the household charge up to 31 March, 2012.

A household charge information leaflet was delivered to households across the countryearlier in the payment period. A final reminder is currently being delivered to households. I have already announced that I will not extend the period for payment of the household charge beyond 31 March, 2012.

 386.  Deputy Eoghan Murphy Information on Eoghan Murphy Zoom on Eoghan Murphy  asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government Information on Philip Hogan Zoom on Philip Hogan  if he will consider the a suggestion (details supplied) in relation to the household charge. [16118/12]

 389.  Deputy Sean Fleming Information on Seán Fleming Zoom on Seán Fleming  asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government Information on Philip Hogan Zoom on Philip Hogan  the arrangements in place in respect of the household charge for persons who are acting as executors of wills who are charged with selling a house on behalf of a deceased person; and if any exemption is available in these situations and also in respect of the charge for the non principal private residence during this period when the estate is being dealt with. [16295/12]

Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government (Deputy Phil Hogan): Information on Philip Hogan Zoom on Philip Hogan I propose to take Questions Nos. 386 and 389 together.

The Local Government (Household Charge) Act 2011 and the Local Government (Charges) Act 2009, as amended, set out the legislation underpinning the household charge and the charge on non-principal private residences respectively. Application of the legislation in particular circumstances is a matter for the relevant local authority. Interpretation of the legislation is a matter for legal advice in individual cases and ultimately a matter for the Courts. Both Acts contain common provisions dealing with the situation where a person who is the sole owner of a residential property dies. The legislation provides that the personal representative of the deceased person shall not, in respect of that residential property, be liable to pay the household charge or the charge on non-principal private residences relating to a year in which the liability falls after the date of death of the deceased person and before the date of issue of a grant of representation to the estate of the deceased person.

The specific provisions are contained in section 4(3) of the Local Government (Household Charge) Act 2011 and, in relation to the charge on non-principal private residences, in section 4(7) of the Local Government (Charges) Act 2009, as amended. In addition, both Acts provide that where a person who is the sole owner of a residential property dies and, at the date of his or her death, a household charge or a charge on non-principal private residence (and any related late payment penalties) remains unpaid in relation to that property, no further late payment penalties are payable in relation to that property until a grant of representation to the estate of the deceased person issues to the personal representative of such deceased person.

The personal representative of such deceased person is, as soon as a grant of representation to the estate of the deceased person issues to him or her, liable to pay to the relevant local authority the full amount due and owing by the deceased, at the date of his or her death, in [864]respect of the household charge or the charge on non-principal private residences and any related late payment penalties. Where the full amount owing is paid by the personal representative within 3 months of the date of issue of the grant of representation to the estate of the deceased, he or she shall have no further liability.

Where the full amount owing is not paid by the personal representative within 3 months of the date of issue of the grant of representation to the estate of the deceased, he or she is liable to pay late payment penalties, in addition to the full amount, from the date of issue of the grant of representation to the estate of the deceased. These provisions are contained in section 7(3)-7(6) of the Local Government (Household Charge) Act 2011 and section 6(3)-6(6) of the Local Government (Charges) Act 2009, as amended.


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