The Valuation Office is obliged to value all relevant property under the legislation. The rate book is prepared on the basis of the latest valuation list. The first valuation (Griffith’s valuation) took place in 1838, on commencement of the poor law legislation. Valuations were not updated for many years, and new valuations were undertaken on and artificial and comparative basis, relative to existing older valuations.
The Valuation Act 2001 went some distance towards modernising and making the law on rates valuation more coherent law. Under this legislation, property is to be valued by reference to the net annual value of the property. This is the rent which might reasonably be expected year on year. The cost of repairs, insurance and maintenance are assumed to be borne by the occupier. An alternative method is based on the notional costs of construction. The value is fixed at a percentage (5%) of the depreciated replacement cost plus the site value.
All plant and equipment may be added to the value of property and become rateable. Plant, in this context, includes any fixture or structure attached to the property. Certain machinery may come within the definition of plant. It may be a fixture or structure associated with a premises which although free standing, is of a size, weight and construction such as to be permanent or semi-permanent.
There is an appeal against valuations for rating purpose. The owner / occupier or the authority itself or any person who has an interest may appeal. It may be made on the basis of comparable properties in the valuation list The first appeal is to the Valuation Commission. The second appeal is to the Valuation Tribunal. There is a further appeal to the High Court on a point of law only, with the possibility of a further appeals on point of law to the Court of Appeal /Supreme Court.
The Valuation Ireland Act 1852 provided for valuation of agricultural land, based on the average price of agricultural produce. Other land and premises was based on its net annual value, based on a hypothetical rent. Historically, valuations were based on one third of the net rental value. Because valuations were not updated, they were adjusted with reference to existing comparable values in the area.
The 2001 Act provides the valuation is based on the net annual value. This is the rent at which the property might reasonably be expected to be let, taking account of the average cost of repairs, insurance and expenses that would be necessary to maintain the property, including taxes and charges.Alternatively, the property may be based on a notional 5% of the aggregate replacement cost of the property and site value.
Plant and machinery may be valued if they constitute plant under the Act. Plant is any fixture or structure attached to or secured or integrated with premises and considered to be permanent or semi-permanent in nature.
The Valuation Act 2001 modernised valuation law for rating purposes. The Act continues and sets out the functions of the Commissioner of Valuation. The Commissioner is independent in the exercise of his functions. The Commissioner is appointed by the Minister and if the Minister removes the Commissioner, the reasons for removal must be laid before both Houses of the Oireachtas. The Valuation Tribunal is continued in being and enhanced.
The Commissioner is to provide for valuation of all properties subject to rating. Each rateable property is to be valued separately and entered in the valuation list. Certain classes of assets in the nature of infrastructure are valued globally.
Rateable properties are now referred to as relevant properties. Certain categories of relevant property are not rateable under specific exemptions, including buildings, harbours occupied by the State, Department or offices of State, Defence Forces and Garda Síochána, prisons.
The Commissioner after consulting the Minister and the rating authority may make an order requiring a revaluation order for all properties situated in the relevant area covered. The objective of valuations is to ensure that revaluation is to take place between five and 10 years.
The revaluation procedure has progressed very slowly. Ultimately, it is proposed that the entire country will be revalued.Certain local authority areas have been revalued The Local Authority Government Reform Act 2014 extends the revision period, subject to ministerial order.
Where areas have not been revalued, valuations are based on historical valuations which bear no relationship to current value. In these cases, new valuations are set relative to existing valuation. Same applies to appeals in respect of comparison.
Once a valuation order is made a valuation of all rateable properties in the area specified other than a limited category of exempted properties, is to be organised and take place. The valuation date is to be specified. This is to be published.
A list is to be published comprising every rateable property, the subject of the valuation and the order. This is the valuation list. The valuation list is to be made available for inspection by the public. There is publicity required in respect of making of the valuation list.
Occupiers may make representations in relation to the proposed valuation not less than three months before the date on which the valuation list is to be published. The occupier on the list is to be given a valuation certificate proposed to be entered.
The notice is to state that within 28 days, he may, if he is dissatisfied make representations to the valuation manager in relation to the matter. The valuation manager is to consider the representations and may amend the certificate.
An occupier of property may apply to the Commissioner to revalue the property. If on enquiry, a material change in circumstances has occurred since the previous valuation, the property valuation may be amended either as to value or in relation to its particulars.
Where the valuation is amended, rates underpaid or overpaid will be recovered or refunded as the case may be. It may be excluded if it no longer is rateable.
Apart from this clerical errors and inaccuracies, details may be corrected from time to time without a specific procedure being followed. Valuation lists may be changed if there are any changes in municipal boundaries, or upon a revaluation or alteration. Notice is to be given to the occupier affected.
The rated occupier has the opportunity to make representation in relation to the proposed revision. They are to be taken into account. A 28 day period is given in which the representations are considered, and the certificate may be amended and issued.
There is a right of appeal to the Commissioner and then the Valuation Tribunal. Each of these are on the merits / value. There are further rights of appeal to the High Court on a point of law which may be appealed to the Court of Appeal.
An appeal may be made to the Commissioner by the occupier, rating authority and any other person with an interest in the property. The appeal may relate to the determination of value or other details in respect of the property comprised in the valuation list. It may relate to decisions to include or exclude property.
The appeal is to specify the grounds relative to the value by reference to value stated in the valuation list of comparable property. It is to specify other relevant grounds regarding inclusion or exclusion as the case may be.
If the appellant is not the occupier, notice is to be given to the occupier by the Commissioner. It is to state that the occupier may make observations and submissions to the Commissioner in relation to the appeal.
The Commissioner is to consider the appeal. It may be allowed, allowed in part or rejected. On amendment a valuation certificate is to issue amending the valuation or excluding the property as the time may be.
A further appeal may be made to the Valuation Tribunal against the decision of the Commissioner to allow or disallow an appeal. This must be made within 28 days. The appeal is to set out the grounds including the alleged correct valuation or other relevant criteria such as for inclusion or exclusion from the valuation list.
The Tribunal is to serve a notice of appeal on the occupier, the rating authority and the Commissioner (other than the party who is appellant). Other information and documents received in writing shall be served on by the Tribunal on the Commissioner, occupier or other relevant party (other than in respect of document submitted by that particular party).
The Tribunal is to consider the appeal, allow or disallow it or amend the valuation list. The Tribunal is to make itsdecision within six months and the valuation list is to be revised.
The Valuation Tribunal is appointed by the Minister from time to time. The term of office is five years, and they may be reappointed. They are precluded from holding certain public offices.
The Valuation Tribunal consist of a chairman and ordinary members. It may act in a number of divisions. A division comprises three members. The chairman may organise division.
The Tribunal sits in private. It has the powers and immunities of a court in relation to witnesses, etc. Failure to attend, answer directions or do anything required, is an offence equivalent to a contempt of court. The Tribunal may order cost be borne by one party. Costs are recoverable as simple contract debts ordered by the Tribunal.
Point of Law
There is a further appeal on a point of law to the High Court with a further appeal to the Court of Appeal. It must be based on an error of law and a declaration must be made within 21 days of determination.
If dissatisfaction with the determination is specified within 21 days, the party may within 28 days of notice, serve notice on the Tribunal requiring the Tribunal to state and sign a case for the opinion of the High Court within three months of the receipt of the notice. The case is to set forth facts and matters for determination. A party requiring it shall transmit the case to the High Court within seven days of receiving it. A notice of this is to be served on the other parties to the appeal.
The High Court hears and determines questions of law arising in the case. It may affirm, reverse or amend the decision.
If a valuation list is amended, the Commissioner may consistent with the relevant decision, amend other properties on the valuation list. It may issue new valuation certificates to the occupiers and rating authority or other relevant persons. The occupier may within 28 days of the valuation certificate himself appeal the same to the Tribunal and the general procedure for appeals apply.
The Office of the Valuation Commissioner may serve a notice in writing requiring specified information within 28 days. The information must be such as is necessary for the performance of function. Failure to comply with the notice is an offence.
Within 28 days of which a valuation order is made in relation to a rating area, the occupier is to provide specified particulars in respect of the property. Where a property later comes into existence or become subject to rating, the information is provided within 28 days of that later date.
If there are change in circumstances, after the above dates so that the information ceases to be correct, the occupier is to give a corrective statement. Failure to do so in each case is an offence.
Officers of the Commissioner have power to enter land and to do such acts as required to value the property. They may survey and value the property. An officer of the Commissioner is not without the consent of the occupier to exercise the powers above, unless he has given at least three days prior notice of his intention. Impeding or obstructing the officer is an offence.
The Act contemplates a revaluation of property above. This fundamentally changes the out of date relative valuation system used prior to the legislation. The progress in implementing the Act has been slow.
The value of rateable property is the net annual value of the property. This is the amount which would yield in rent from one year to another in its actual state on the assumption of the average annual cost of repairs, insurance and other expenses including rates and taxes are to be borne by the tenant.
Where a revision of a valuation list entry is being undertaken, this is to be done by reference to values appearing in the valuation list of the rating authority for the same area. It is mandatory in respect of a revision but not mandatory in respect of an original valuation.
In determining the net annual value, generally a method of valuation may be used allowing the notional cost of constructing the property. This method involves taking the notional cost of construction. The net annual value is to be 5% of the aggregate of the replacement clause, depreciation where appropriate and the site value.
Plant & Machinery
Machinery is not to be included in the valuation unless it constitutes plant as specified in Schedule V of the Act or is machinery erected and used for the production of motor power. Movable machinery is not to be taken into account in determining the value of the property.
Plant should be taken into account under the Schedule V, are constructions of fixed property and used for the containment of a substance or for the transmission of a substance or electric current. It includes any construction designed or used primarily for the storage or containment but excludes any constructions designed primarily to induce a process of change in substances contained or transmitted.
The plant and infrastructure of public utility companies are subject to a global valuation. This includes water, sewage, telecommunications, railways. There is special procedures in relation to an appeal. It must be taken within three months of the issue of the global valuation.
A certificate may be issued as to an item in the valuation list, and this is deemed evidence of rateable valuation. This issue arises in a number of instances, including, formerly for court jurisdiction.
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