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Written Answers - Local Authority Charges

Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 760 No. 3

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 400.  Deputy John O’Mahony Information on John O'Mahony Zoom on John O'Mahony  asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government Information on Philip Hogan Zoom on Philip Hogan  the reason a person (details supplied) in County Mayo has been refused a waiver under the household charge; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [16429/12]

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 Charge) Regulations 2012 provide the legislative basis for the household charge. Under the legislation, an owner of a residential property on the liability date of 1 January 2012 is liable to pay the household charge by 31 March 2012, unless otherwise exempted or entitled to claim a waiver.

The household charge is on a self assessment basis and interpretation of the legislation is a matter for legal advice in individual cases and ultimately a matter for the Courts.

The Local Government (Household Charge) Act 2011 provides for a number of exemptions and waivers from payment of the household charge.

The exemptions from payment of the household charge are—

Residential properties that are part of the trading stock of a business and have not been sold or been the source of any income since construction,

Residential property owned by a Minister of the Government, a housing authority or the Health Service Executive,

Voluntary and co-operative housing,

Residential property subject to commercial rates and wholly used as a dwelling,

Residential property owned by certain charities or discretionary trusts, and

Residential property which an owner has vacated due to long-term mental or physical infirmity (e.g. elderly person that has moved into a nursing home).

The waivers which apply concern—

Owners of residential property entitled to mortgage interest supplement, and

Owners of houses in certain unfinished housing estates.

In particular, section 4(1)(b) provides that a person who, on the liability date, is the owner of a residential property is not, in respect of that residential property, liable to pay the household charge for the year in which that liability date falls if, on that date the residential property is comprised in a discretionary trust within the meaning of the Capital Acquisitions Tax Consolidation Act 2003.

[870]In the circumstances set out in section 4(1)(b), a person is entitled to an exemption from payment of the household charge and the question of an application for a waiver does not arise.


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