Irish Water Operators hardly qualified to value properties for LPT

Fianna Fáil Councillor, John Paul Feeley has reacted with dismay to reports in today’s Sunday Business Post that those working for Irish Water in the installation of water meters will be assisting the Revenue Commissioners in the collection of the Local Property Tax.

Phil Hogan, T.D., Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government confirmed in response to a Parliamentary Question that ‘it is central to the e-government strategy on improved data sharing and linking across the public service that data should be shared between government departments and agencies.’

Reacting, Councillor Feeley stated that it is time absolute clarity is given to the role of Irish Water in relation to the LPT.

‘Those charged with installing water meters and taking reading are hardly qualified to second guess valuations provided by property owners or their auctioneers. This latest announcement is further clarification that implementation of the Local Property Tax is seeing this Government and the Revenue Commissioners stooping to new lows it their efforts to second guess compliant tax payers.’

Noting that the deadline for filing for 2014 had now passed Councillor Feeley stated that many people had outstanding queries resulting from the letters issued to them in October of this year.

‘Many people have received demands under the LPT for in excess of the amount they valued their house for in 2013, others have been told that they have more than one property when this is not the case. The LPT Revenue Helpline which is totally separate to the normal Revenue Helpline is completely under resourced and operates as a barrier to resolving issues rather than solving problems.’

Concluding, Councillor Feeley in calling for urgent action by the Government and the Revenue Commissioners also called for a system for Revenue to confirm that properties are uninhabitable so that property owners have certainty in terms of their liability. Noting than many Local Authorities had a similar system for the NPPR and Household Charge, Councillor Feeley called for Revenue to implement such a system without delay.