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Saturday, 30th November 2019

Louth County Council responds to criticism over rates

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Louth County Council has responded to recent media commentary about the issue of rates in the Drogheda area by issuing the following statement:

“Rates in County Louth are set based on a valuation process, which is run by the Valuation Office.

The Valuation Office and the process arising is entirely independent of Louth County Council, both its executive and elected members.

“Revaluation is a reassessment of rateable value of all properties in any Local Authority area. The result of a revaluation is the production of what is termed a New Valuation List that contains modern valuations for all rateable properties in the County, bringing rateable values back into line with current property rental values. This reassessment of rateable value leads to a redistribution of commercial rates burden between ratepayers.

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“The revaluation process is revenue neutral for Local Authorities and the results are based solely on the calculation set out in the legislation.

“In this latest process, there were a set of steps involved in the revaluation over the last two years, with the new valuation list and the rates arising coming into effect at the start of next year. The

Valuation Office wrote to the ratepayers throughout the revaluation explaining the process and collecting the necessary information they required to carry out their calculations. They also provided walk-in clinics and a helpline to assist ratepayers with the process.

“It is important to understand and to again clarify that changes in rates in any area of Louth for 2020 derive solely from the valuation figures and assessments made in that independent valuation process.

“While over time it is the policy of Louth County Council to move toward rate equalisation across the county, the changes to rates for 2020 arise solely from the independent valuation process, as set out in legislation.

“The assessment process outlined in this statement is independent of BIDS, the cost of which is additional to ratepayers in Drogheda and Dundalk.”

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