Local Authority Budget
The local authorities is to maintain a local fund under the Local Government Act 2001. All moneys received by way of rates are to be paid into the local fund. There is provision for a separate community fund.
Local authorities prepare a draft budget for the next financial year, setting out necessary expenditure and required income to meet it. The draft budget is prepared under the direction of the manager (now the chief executive). The manager (now the chief executive) is to consult the corporate policy group in relation to the budget.
The draft budget is considered by the local authority at a meeting of the elected members at which the manager is present. A draft is to be prepared and circulated in advance and made available to the public. It is available at the principal offices of the local authority and may be inspected. Copies may be purchased.
The local authority may adopt the budget with or without amendment. A copy of the budget as adopted is available.
Where a local authority budget is not adopted, the local authority may use money and incur liability for the financial year for the purpose of programmes for which money was incurred by the local authority in the immediate year. The amount is not to exceed one third of the amount previously used or if the cost of meeting the liability previously incurred in the previous financial year. This proportion may be varied by the Minister by statutory instrument by order.
After making a rate, the local authority may amend it, where it so require. This may be necessary to comply with legislation, lawful requirements in respect of the making of the rate.
Budget & Rates
Local authorities set the rates annually. They estimate expenditure and make a rate based on the estimates of expenditure. The rate is made for the entire financial year, which is generally the calendar year. A resolution of the elected members is made.The rate is based on the sum of the valuations, according to the valuation lists prepared by the Commissioner of Valuation.
A local authority shall consider the local authority’s budgetary needs in determining the applicable annual rate on valuation. At the statutory local authority budget meeting, the local authority shall, by resolution determine, in accordance with the local authority budget adopted under section 103 of the said Act, the annual rate on valuation applicable in the calculation of the amount of the rate .
The total rate is made in accordance with the annual budget. The rate is made pursuant to a budget which decides the rate as multiples or divisors of the aggregate annual values. This is striking the rate.
Local authorities to levy rates on the occupiers of rateable property (rateable property as identified in the Valuation Acts 2001-2015). Rates liability is calculated by multiplying the valuation determined by the Commissioner of Valuation by the Annual Rate on Valuation (ARV) adopted by the local authority at its annual budget meeting.
After the rate is made, statutory notice of the making of the rate is published in a newspaper. The rating authority then issues rates demands to each ratable occupier.
The Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government may limit the level of ARV that can be adopted by the local authority. The Minister may give a direction in writing to a local authority before a budget meeting in relation to a local financial year specified in the direction.
It may requirie that the annual rate on valuation determined by the local authority at that budget meeting be limited by reference to an amount, specified in the direction. The local authority concerned shall comply with a direction given to it.
A rate book is to be prepared, as soon as may be after the annual rate is set by the rating authority. The rate book is to include details of the rate account number, owner and occupier, address, description of property, remissions formerly town charges, total for collection and other requisite information. The rate book must be open for inspection by a ratepayer.
A rate book should include all properties liable for rates. It should include particulars of the occupiers or owners, the valuation, remissions, total assessable, rateable valuation and certain adjustments.
The rating authority must publish notice of the deposit of the rate book in at least one newspapers circulating in the area. The notice should state where the rate book may be inspected. The rate is made by chief executive’s order.
A rate payer may appeal against the rate, on the basis of an objection to an item included or excluded, an objection to the sum charged or on the basis of legality. This does not impair recovery of the rate.
It must be made within four months of the publication of rate’s details. The appeal is a challenge to legality. The fact that an appeal is pending does not preclude recovery of the rate. The appeal is made to the Circuit Court.