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Learn More About Rates

Commercial rates are an annual charge on commercial property to pay for the general provision of services of local authorities. Commercial rates are payable on commercial, industrial and some other non-domestic properties. Local authorities calculate commercial rates liabilities on the basis of valuations provided to them by the Valuation Office.

What are rates?

Rates are a tax levied on commercial property. They are not a charge for specific services rendered. Properties assessed for rates includes buildings, railways, tolls, shops, factories, offices, etc

What is rateable valuation?

Rateable valuation is the tax base. It is based on the net annual letting value of a property (i.e. rent payable on the open market etc.). Rateable valuations for all properties in the state are determined by the commissioner of valuation and set out in the valuation list, which is updated regularly.

Who pays rates?

Generally the person liable for the payment of rates is the person in occupation of a rateable property at the date of the making of the rate.

How are rates assessed/calculated?

Rates are based on two main elements:

  1. The rateable valuation (the tax base) of a property as determined by the commissioner of valuation
  2. The annual rate on valuation (the tax rate) as determined annually by westmeath County Council as part of the budgeting process

Example of calculation of rates payable on a property:

An estimate of your rates liability for 2018 can be computed as follows :

Take the value set out in the Final Valuation Certificate received from the Valuation Office (e.g. €15,000)
Take the indicative Annual Rate on Valuation (ARV) for 2018 of 0.183
Multiply A x B giving your estimated rates liability for 2018 (e.g. €15,000 x 0.183 = €2,745)

My rateable valuation is too high or I think I am entitled to an exemption from rates?

Persons aggrieved at the valuation on their property may submit the property for revision online at www.valoff.ie, subject to the payment of a fee of €250.00 per valuation record.

The Valuation Office is contactable as follows:

Telephone: (01) 8171000, Lo Call: (1890) 333001
Website: www.valoff.ie
Email: info@valoff.ie

Section 32

The Local Government Reform Act, 2014 provides for a wide range of reforms to local authority functions, structures and funding, and includes a number of changes in respect of commercial rates.

New duty on owners/ratepayers in relation to a transfer of property

Section 32 of the Act places -

  • An obligation on property owners, or their agents, to notify the Local Authority where an interest in a rateable property is transferred and the person liable for rates changes.
  • The person transferring the property, either the owner or occupier, must discharge all rates for which he/she is liable at the date of transfer.

Failure to notify Westmeath County Council of a change in interest within 14 days of the transfer date, may result in a penalty for non-compliance in that, the owner becomes liable for an amount which is equivalent to the level of outstanding liabilities (up to a maximum of 2 years liability).
This obligation comes into effect on 1st July, 2014

Rates Revaluation

The purpose of a revaluation is to bring more equity, uniformity, fairness and transparency into the local authority rating system. Following revaluation there will be a much closer relationship between the rental value or valuation of a property and its commercial rates liability.

The new valuatons will come into effect for rating purposes from 2018. Final Valuaton Certificates have now issued to all Ratepayers in Westmeath.

An estimate of your rates liability for 2018 can be computed as follows : 

  1. Take the value set out in the Final Valuation Certificate received from the Valuation Office (e.g. €15,000)
  2. Take the indicative Annual Rate on Valuation (ARV) for 2018 of 0.183
  3. Multiply A x B giving your estimated rates liability for 2018 (e.g. €15,000 x 0.183 = €2,745)

It should be noted that the ARV is indicative only.  It is based on the total value of new valuations for Westmeath, as calculated and advised by the Valuation Office in September 2017.  This indicative ARV is subject to change and will be determined at our Budget meeting on 27th November 2017.

Further information

There is further information on revaluation available on the Valuation Office website www.valoff.ie. Valuations can be inspected at Check Property Valuation Online. You can also email specific queries to Reval2017@valoff.ie or by telephone on 01-817 1033 or LoCall:1890 531 431

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