All owners of residential property in County Clare who have not yet paid the Household Charge will be contacted over the coming weeks, Clare County Council has confirmed.
The Local Authority has already commenced issuing payment reminders to householders outlining the benefits of paying the charge and the penalties associated with non-payment.
The Local Government Management Agency (LGMA), the agency responsible for the collection of the charge nationally, this week provided Clare County Council with a database of compliant residential property owners in Clare.
Up to Friday 17 August 2012, 64% of householders in Clare had paid the charge, which was introduced by the Government in the 2012 budget.
All owners of residential property in Ireland are liable for the household charge on each residential property they own, as at 1st January 2012. The Government has said that revenues from the Household Charge collected by the Exchequer will be later distributed to Local Authorities throughout Ireland to support the provision of local services such as public parks, libraries, open spaces and leisure amenities, planning and development, fire and emergency services; and street cleaning and lighting.
Eddie Power, Acting Head of Finance, Clare County Council, explained: “Almost two thirds of the local community have so far paid the Household Charge, which is one of the higher compliance rates when compared to other local authority areas. The responsibility is on all residential property owners to pay. Letters are being issued to residential property owners who have yet to pay following an examination of information from the Property Registration Authority (Land Registry), Private Residential Tenancy Board and information from the Non Principle Private Residence database.”
Mr. Power added: “The Government has repeatedly stressed that it is in the interests of Local Authorities to ensure that the charge is collected. Local services will be impacted if the projected 160 million euro in Household Charge revenue is not received by the Exchequer. This is evidenced by the recent Government decision to withhold part of the General Purpose Grant Allocation of the Local Government Fund from Clare County Council.”
In the letters being issued to residential property owners over the coming weeks, information will be provided on the penalties associated with non-compliance. Penalties are applied for each month that the charge remains unpaid. Currently the charge is 15 % higher as a result of late payment fees and will be 30% higher by the end of the year and will continue to rise. The amount due if paid by 31st August, 2012, is €115 increasing to €130 by January next.
Mr. Power explained that the non-payment of the Household Charge can affect the sale or transfer of a property. He continued: “It is important to note that any accumulated late payment fee plus interest will be a charge against the property concerned and will continue to be such for twelve years after the charge or late payment fees plus interest concerned became due. Before a residential property can be sold or transferred to a family member all Household Charges and late payment fees plus interest due will have to be discharged in full.”
The Household Charge can be paid online by credit/debit card at www.householdcharge.ie, by cheque/Postal Order/Bank Drafts at a local authority office, or by posting forms to Household Charge, PO Box 12168, Dublin 1. Clare County Council is accepting payment at New Road, Ennis, and at the following area offices: Kilrush, Shannon, Ennistymon, Scariff, Ennis and South East Clare.