County Hall failed to collect €11m in commercial property tax

County Hall failed to collect €11m in commercial property tax

CORK County Council failed to collect more than €11m in commercial property tax last year.

The council collected €123m of the almost €135m owed to it last year, according to figures revealed at County Hall.

That accounted for 38% of total revenue income for the council.

The €123m represents a 92.2% collection rate, which the council has deemed satisfactory.

Just under 90% of rates were collected in 2017.

The council said that while every effort will be made to address the arrears, it has made a bad-debt provision of €9m, which would cover business closures, valuation appeals, liquidations, extended payment plans, and cases subject to legal proceedings.

“The collection performance was very satisfactory and a number of factors contributed to this outcome,” said county hall.

The council added that the “present economic environment” has allowed sustained engagement from rate-payers in paying both current and historic rates.

It also said that commercial property transfers resolved “previously problematic accounts” in some cases.

The council said that while it is obliged to maximise its collection of local commercial property tax, it is aware of the challenges some businesses face.

As a result, it said that rate collection staff engaged with 14,200 rate-payers to agree payment plans, if appropriate, on a case-by-case basis.

Legal action was necessary on a number of occasions.

“Many cases were resolved following the issue of pre-six-day and six-day notices. Forty-two cases were resolved after summons were issued, but prior to court hearings. Of the cases entered for hearing, 87 judgements were obtained in 2018,” the council said.

In 2010, County Hall collected €90m in property tax. This has risen steadily over the past eight years, up to €120m in 2017 and €123m last year.

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