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Dublin: 14°C Wednesday 10 August 2022

Less than a million properties registered for household charge

Nearly a month after the deadline for the €100 tax, the government is still some way off its target of raising €160 million to fund local authorities.

Environment Minister Phil Hogan in the mailing room at the Household Charge Bureau in Dublin last month.
Environment Minister Phil Hogan in the mailing room at the Household Charge Bureau in Dublin last month.
Image: Leon Farrell/Photocall Ireland

LESS THAN ONE million properties in the country have been registered for the controversial household charge nearly a month after the deadline for the flat tax with still less than half of the money the government expected to generate from it having been processed.

Figures released yesterday by the Local Government Management Agency (LGMA) showed that in total, the State has received €71,225,244 from the payment of the €100 tax including from households who have been paying the €11 fine imposed after the 31 March deadline.

The LGMA estimates that a further €18.9 million of postal applications are still to be processed and says that with waivers (which account for around 15,100 properties) included some 930,289 properties are now registered for the household charge.

This means that just under 125,000 properties are estimated to have been registered since the 31 March deadline passed last month.

The majority of payments have been through credit or debit cards online – €52.6 million – followed by people paying by cheques, postal orders or bank drafts – €11.3m.

Payment by direct debit online accounts for €3.8m worth of payments followed by €3m through the local authority offices and €406,600 through direct debits set up at local authority offices.

Fines and distribution of proceeds

Those who have yet to pay the charge are subject to fines which on Tuesday will go up by €1 from €111 to €112, taking into account a monthly interest charge.

The €1 increments are added on until October when the fine will go to €20 plus €7  for the six months interest accrued plus the interest for October. This means that homeowners who have not paid by then will have to stump up €127.

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In April 2013 the charge will go to €144 which includes €30 plus the €14 in interest accrued by that point.

Money received and processed by the LGMA goes to the Department of Environment, Community and Local Government on a “nightly basis”. The LGMA said that the distribution of the money is then a matter for the Department.

The money is put into the Local Government Fund along with other sources of income such as motor tax. The Department then distributes this money to local authorities through General Purpose Grants which are delivered to local authorities in tranches on an ongoing basis.

The Department of Environment said General Purpose Grants do not attempt to distinguish which portion of the grant to each authority comes from which source of revenue.

Read: Property tax could be fairer than household charge – ESRI

Read: Details on Household Charge penalties emerging

About the author:

Hugh O'Connell

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