Cheevers demands 'transparency' from City Hall over vacant site levies

Councillor says City Hall must issue report on vacant sites ahead of Jun 8 council meeting

Fianna Fáil Galway City East councillor, Alan Cheevers.

Fianna Fáil Galway City East councillor, Alan Cheevers.

A local councillor has called on City Hall to issue a full report of the number of vacant sites in the city and explain why it has not been collecting the levies owed from such sites.

Fianna Fáil Galway City East councillor, Alan Cheevers, has demanded that council officials present such a report ahead of the next council meeting on Monday June 8.

His call follows a report, issued last weekend, which showed that only four local authorities in the State collected vacant site levies, leaving €9 million in potential funding for housing nationwide untapped.

'Council's are often not in a position to apply the levy because of significant administrative difficulties in implementing the relevant legislation'

"Galway City Council was not one of the authorities which collected vacant site levies," said Cllr Cheevers. "It is not acceptable. Owners of these properties should be paying a vacant site levy of seven per cent of site value per annum. This is money we need now. We could use it towards our annual budget especially when every penny will count coming out of this pandemic."

RTÉ Investigates - Land of Hope & Homeless reported last December that only 10 local authorities in the Republic are in a position to impose the levy, with as few as 140 sites registered to be fined.

The Local Authorities' Progress Reports on the levy, submitted to the Department of Housing last November and released under Freedom of information, showed that council's are often not in a position to apply the levy because of significant administrative difficulties in implementing the relevant legislation.

 

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