Commercial Rates is a local commercial property tax which part funds the expenditure programmes of Cork County Council. Rates are charged on commercial properties such as shops, offices, factories, warehouses, hotels, licensed premises etc.

 

The income raised by Rates helps to provide many of the services offered by Cork County Council. These include:

 

  • Economic Development – 1% of Rates collected is ringfenced for the Council's Economic Development Fund
  • Provision of Services to ‘Start Up’ companies including incubation units and supports from Local Enterprise Offices
  • Town Development Fund - €1 million set aside each year
  • Local and Community Development
  • County road maintenance and improvement
  • Fire Brigades and related services
  • Planning control
  • Parks, amenity areas and playgrounds
  • Libraries and mobile libraries
  • Town and Village renewal
  • Beach Life Guards

Disclaimer: The Information provided below is for guidance purposes only, and is not intended as a definitive legal interpretation of the relevant governing legislation.

 

Rates Enquiry

Who is Liable to Pay Rates?
The person or company in occupation of a commercial or industrial property at the date of the making of the rate is primarily liable for the entire rate for that year. 
 
In cases where the property is vacant at the date of the making of the rate, the liability lies with the person or company entitled to occupy the property on that date (i.e. the leaseholder or if there is no lease – the owner).

 

When is Rate Payable?
Commercial Rates are payable in two moieties (halves).  The first moiety falls due for payment as soon as the rate bill issues (usually late February/early March) and the second moiety is payable on 1st of July.
 
If a ratepayer wishes to pay their rates by instalment during the rating year e.g. weekly, monthly etc. the Collection Office will facilitate an instalment payment plan.

 

How is a Rate Bill calculated?

The rate bill is calculated by multiplying the Rateable Valuation by the Annual Rate on Valuation (ARV).

 

  • Rateable Valuation is decided by the Commissioner of Valuation (or on appeal by the Valuation Tribunal, High Court or Supreme Court).
  • Annual Rate on Valuation is set annually by the Elected Members of Cork County Council (i.e. Councillors) at the Budget Meeting.

It is the product of these two elements which determines a rate bill*

* Bills issued to Ratepayers located in the former Town Council areas of Clonakilty, Cobh, Fermoy, Kinsale, Macroom, Mallow, Midleton, Skibbereen and Youghal are subject to an annual Base Year Adjustment (see below for further details).

An example of rate payable on a property with Valuation of €10.00:

(a) Rateable Valuation

€10.00

(b) Annual Rate on Valuation (ARV)

74.75**

(c) Rates Payable (a) x (b)

€10 x 74.75 = €747.50

 

**ARV used above is ARV of Cork County Council in 2017.

 

Base Year Adjustment
Cork County Council is now responsible for the levying and collection of commercial rates in each former Town Council area.

In accordance with provisions of the Local Government Reform Act 2014, the Annual Rate on Valuation (ARV) of each former Town Council is being realigned with the County ARV over the next number of years, by means of a mechanism termed "Base Year Adjustment".

The process of alignment commenced in 2016 with the process expected to be completed by 2020. While the realignment process is continuing, the ARV for Cork County Council will not increase from €74.75. This means in effect that, commercial rates in Cork County (excluding the former Town Council areas) are frozen until 2020.

Upon realignment, a uniform ARV will apply to all commercial premises across the County.

The Base Year Adjustment applied to Rate bills in 2016 and 2017 is as follows:

 

Rating Area

ARV 2016

ARV 2017

Cork County Council

€74.75

€74.75

Former Clonakilty Town Council

€68.52

€70.08

Former Cobh Town Council

€72.17

€72.82

Former Fermoy Town Council

€63.75

€66.50

Former Kinsale Town Council

€67.04

€68.97

Former Macroom Town Council

€67.25

€69.12

Former Mallow Town Council

€61.25

€64.63

Former Midleton Town Council

€61.78

€65.02

Former Skibbereen Town Council

€70.82

€71.80

Former Youghal Town Council

€67.20

€69.09

 

 

Disclaimer: The Information provided above is for guidance purposes only, and is not intended as a definitive legal interpretation of the relevant governing legislation.

Can I pay my rates electronically/by Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT)?

Yes, you can pay your rates electronically/ by EFT. Cork County Council’s Bank Account details for Rates payments are as follows:

Name of Account

Cork County Council - Rates

Bank

AIB Bank, 66 South Mall, Cork

Bank Sort Code

93 41 78

Bank Account No.

70405135

IBAN No. 

IE13  AIBK  9341 7870 4051 35

BIC

AIBKIE2D

**The above Bank Account is for receipt of Rate payments only. It is not to be used for any other payments to Cork County Council**

When paying by electronic transfer you must tag the payment with the rate account number(s).  You will generally enter this as the ‘Narrative’ to appear on Cork County Council’s Bank Statement and your own. Your Rate Account No. appears on your Rate Bill/Reminder Notice in the form of 7 digits followed by letters RA followed by 2 digits e.g. 6723456RA99

NB: Failure to reference the full correct rate account number may result in delays in a payment being credited to your rate account.

A remittance advice should also be sent to the Rate Collector, Cork County Council, Collection Office, Floor 6, County Hall, Cork or by email to collection@corkcoco.ie

 

I do not have access to EFT payments, can I pay my rates in other ways?
If you are not paying rates by EFT you may pay using one of the following payment methods:
• Credit/Debit Card - a pay by phone facility is available on 021 4285514, from 9am to 4.30pm, Monday to Friday
Standing Order 
• In person at the Payments Office, Ground Floor, County Hall, Cork (located behind the Switchboard/Reception Desk)

Whichever method of payment is used, the rate account number(s) must be quoted in full. Your Rate Account No. appears on your Rate Bill/Reminder Notice in the form of 7 digits followed by letters RA followed by 2 digits e.g. 6723456RA99

NB: Failure to quote the full correct rate account number may result in delays in a payment being credited to your rate account.

Is there a reduction for a part of a premises in Domestic Use?
A notional allowance of one-third of the Rateable Valuation is given for property, which is part domestic and part commercial. This relief is subject to a maximum allowance of €22.86 RV.    If you think that you are entitled to a domestic allowance, you should make application in writing to the Rates Department, Cork County Council, Floor 6, County Hall, Cork. If you want any further information please on this topic contact the Rates Department at 021 4285268 quoting your rate account number.

The Rateable Valuations of properties, which were valued from May 2002 onwards, include the valuation of the commercial element of the properties only. Consequently, domestic allowances are not given in respect of such properties unless circumstances have changed since they were last valued.

 

What if I feel my domestic allowance is inadequate? 
If you are unhappy with your allowance or you feel that your notional allowance is insufficient you can apply to the Commissioner of Valuation to apportion your rateable valuation into its domestic and commercial elements - here. The completed form should be returned to the Rates Department for submission to the Valuation Office.

 

Disclaimer: The Information provided above is for guidance purposes only, and is not intended as a definitive legal interpretation of the relevant governing legislation.

What are the main points of the new legislation?

In summary, Section 32 provides:

  1. the owner/seller of a rateable property with a duty to notify the local authority, within 2 weeks, once the person liable for rate changes
  2. penalties for non-compliance with this duty
  3. a duty on owner/seller and occupier to discharge all unpaid rates, for which he/she is liable, prior to transfer/assignment;
  4. that unpaid rates and penalties under this section due from an owner/seller become a charge on the property

Please see the following questions for more detailed guidance on the requirements of the above legislation

 

What are the obligations on owners under section 32 of the Act?

(i) An owner is required to notify Cork County Council where there is a change in the person ordinarily liable for rates on his or her property, i.e. where there is a change in ownership, change in tenancy/occupier or where a tenant/occupier vacates and is not replaced immediately.

(ii) Where the owner is selling the property, it is his/her duty to discharge all rates for which he or she is liable at the date of transfer of the property.

 

What are the new obligations on tenants/occupiers under section 32 of the Act?

Outgoing tenants/occupiers are required to discharge all rates for which they may be liable prior to or on the date of the transfer of the property/ vacating the premises.

 

In what circumstances does the obligation to notify Cork County Council arise?

Where a property is being transferred from one person to another that would result in a change in the person liable for rates, i.e. a change in ownership; or a change in tenancy or occupier, including where a tenant/occupier leaves and the property becomes vacant.

 

Does an obligation to notify arise if the property is sold and there is no change in tenancy/occupier?

No, if the ownership of a property transfers from one person to another without there being a change of tenant or occupier then there is no need to notify Cork County Council.

 

Does an obligation to notify arise if the tenant/occupier leaves and the property becomes vacant?

Yes, the owner is required to notify Cork County Council of this change as the outgoing tenant/occupier will no longer be liable for rates on the property. Cork County Council must be informed of the new tenant/occupier, if any, as that new tenant/occupier will become liable for rates after the date of transfer.

 

Does an obligation to notify arise if a vacant property becomes occupied (i.e. leased/rented)?

Yes, the owner of the property is required to notify the local authority as the incoming occupier/ tenant will now become liable for rates on that property for his/her period of occupation.

 

When/at what point in time does the owner’s duty to notify Cork County Council arise?

Section 32 requires that the owner notifies Cork County Council not later than two weeks after the date of the transfer. Ownership transfers when the sale is complete. In the case of the transfer of tenancies and other interests, this is ordinarily determined on a date specified on the lease/contract.

 

How does the owner fulfil his/her obligation? What information is the owner required to provide Cork County Council?

Owners are required to notify Cork County Council of the details of the transfer and the details of the outgoing and incoming occupier. The relevant form is available to download here.

 

Must the owner notify Cork County Council of a transfer of property or can a solicitor notify on an owner’s behalf?

Subsection 2(a) of Section 32 provides that the notification can be given by either the owner/seller or such other person authorised in writing by the owner/seller to act on his behalf.

 

What happens if Cork County Council is not notified of a transfer?

If the owner does not notify, in writing, Cork County Council of a transfer or the transfer of interest in a property within 2 weeks of the date of transfer, they may be subject to a penalty charge equivalent to the rates outstanding from the previous occupier up to a maximum of 2 years’ rates liabilities. Any such charge not discharged by an owner will remain a charge on the property.

 

What happens if the owner does not pay any outstanding rates he/she is liable for on the date of transfer?

Any rates due by the owner of property at the date of transfer and not discharged will remain a charge on the property.

 

At what point is the penalty of the equivalent charge determined?

Cork County Council must be notified no later than 2 weeks after the date of transfer therefore, the penalty charge accrues after the expiration of the 14 days, i.e. on the 15th day after the transfer.

If it comes to the attention of Cork County Council after the fifteenth day that the owner has not fulfilled his/her obligation, the penalty charge will be applied.

 

Does subsequent payment of the outstanding rates, after the levying of the penalty charge, affect the penalty charge?

No, the penalty charge is not affected by the subsequent payment of the outstanding rates and it remains payable even after outstanding rates have been paid.

 

Does the penalty also apply in instances where the owner was the previous occupier?

Yes, the owner, regardless of whether he/she is in occupation, must notify Cork County Council of the transfer of ownership or if a tenant or new occupier is coming in to replace him as occupant. If the owner does not notify Cork County Council and does not discharge outstanding rates due, he/she will be liable for the penalty charge in addition to any other rates liability that arises from his/her previous occupation. Both the unpaid rates due from an owner on transfer and the penalty charge shall remain a charge on the property if not paid.

 

Do previous occupier’s arrears become a charge on the property?

No, the liability for unpaid rates of a previous occupier does not become a charge on the property unless that occupier is also the owner of the property.

 

Disclaimer: The Information provided above is for guidance purposes only, and is not intended as a definitive legal interpretation of the relevant governing legislation.

How do I contact the Rate Collector?
You can contact the Rate Collector at the Collection Office by;
 

Post:

Rate Collector,
Cork County Council,
Collection Office,
Floor 6,
County Hall,
Cork.

Phone:

(021) 4285252

Fax:

(021) 4346716

Email:

collection@corkcoco.ie

 

Local Collectors may be contacted in the following Cork County Council Offices:

  1. Clonakilty (023) 8836978
  2. Macroom (026) 41545
  3. Mallow (022) 21123
  4. Midleton (021) 4631580
  5. Youghal (024) 92926

You can also check your most recent Rate Bill for the direct contact details for the Local Collector for your area.

 

I am in Difficulty with my Rate Bill. What should I do?
It is advisable to contact the Rate Collection Office immediately if you are encountering any difficulty in paying your rates. Your situation will be discussed in confidence and all payment options will be explored. 

The Rate Grant Scheme allows for a grant to be given to all compliant ratepayers where certain criteria are met. The primary focus of this initiative is to assist Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), who comprise the majority of Ratepayers.

In order to qualify for the grant, ratepayers must have paid the account in full by year end. Ratepayers who are in arrears can also qualify if the balance on the account at year end is reduced by an amount exceeding the grant for which they would be eligible. There is no application process for the Rate Grant Scheme. The Grant is automatically applied as a credit to the rate account at year end.

The Scheme applies to premises throughout County Cork, with the exception of those in the former Town Council rating districts.

Please see the examples below:

Arrears

2017 Bill

Total Payable

Total Paid

Grant

Nil

€2,000

€2,000

€2,000

€60

Nil

€4,000

€4,000

€4,000

€90 (max)

€500

€2,000

€2,500

€2,400

€60

My Premises were vacant for some months, must I still pay?
Yes. Commercial Rates are due even if a premises is vacant. In certain circumstances the owner may qualify for a refund of rate (see below). Please note also the requirements of section 32, Local Government Reform Act 2014 requiring the owner of property to notify Cork County Council of a transfer of property/interest in property

 

How do I qualify for a Rate Refund?
Generally, the main qualifiers for a rate refund/vacancy relief are:

The property must be unoccupied at the date of the Making of the County Rate AND the rate for the year must be paid in full

AND

The property must be unoccupied:
- either for the purpose of the execution of additions, alterations or repairs (this includes demolition and reconstruction) or
- because the owner is bona fide unable to obtain a tenant, at a reasonable rent

Note, the 'person' who is entitled to occupy at the date of the Making of the Rate is the only 'person' who can apply for a refund.

 

How do I make an application for a Refund of Rates?
Assuming that you meet the criteria above, you should complete the relevant application form for refund and forward the completed form to the Rates Department, Cork County Council, Floor 6, County Hall, Cork. 

You should also forward all relevant documentation in support of your application. 

Such documentation normally includes:

  • Certificate from Auctioneer, copy of brochure/letting notice and newspaper/website advertisement where you are claiming a refund due to inability to source a tenant, or
  • Copies of contractor’s invoices, Certificate of project engineer etc. where a refund is being sought because the premises is under renovation or is subject to improvement works.

A sworn statement of vacancy must also be completed by you in the presence of any of the following:

  • Commissioner of Oaths,
  • Peace Commissioner
  • Practising Solicitor

Refunds can be claimed for each vacant whole month subject to the qualifying criteria being met. 

Applications are normally dealt with after year's end 

 

Disclaimer: The Information provided above is for guidance purposes only, and is not intended as a definitive legal interpretation of the relevant governing legislation.

Who decides the Rateable Valuation of a property?
The Rateable Valuation of a property is assessed and determined by the Valuation Office). The Valuation Office is the state property valuation agency and is located in Dublin. Its core business is the valuation of property for commercial rates. The Valuation Office is completely independent of Local Authorities.

The Valuation Office determines whether a property should be rateable and, if rateable, the appropriate rateable valuation of the property. The Valuation Office will ordinarily only (re)assess the rateability status or rateable valuation of a property on foot of an Application/Request for Revision of Valuation. Applications will only be considered if a material change of circumstances has taken place since the property was last assessed.

 

Who can apply to have the valuation of a property revised or altered?

  • The owner or occupier of any property
  • An interest holder of a property in relation to that property
  • The Local Authority
  • The Commissioner may also request revision. 

Applications/Requests for Revision of Valuation may be made by means of the Commissioner of Valuation/Valuation Office on-line facility here. There is a fee of €250.

 

How does the valuation process work?

The Commissioner appoints a Valuer to assess the property. 

Having assessed the property, the Valuer indicates to the occupier, by way of draft valuation certificate, how he/she intends to determine the result. He/she also provides a representation form to the occupier.

The occupier has a right to make representations within 40 days from the date of issue of the Draft Valuation Certificate. 

Having considered any representations, the Valuer issues a Final Valuation Certificate to the occupier. He/she also notifies the Local Authority of his/her determination.

The result is effective for rating and levy purposes, notwithstanding any appeal.

In the case of new premises, a Property Levy is payable from the Effective Valuation Date on the Certificate to year-end. In the case of existing and improved premises the result is effective for rating purposes from the following rating year. (see question on Property Levy for more information)

A Guide to the Valuation process is available from the Valuation Office's Website - here

 

Can a valuation be appealed?
Yes. A dissatisfied party can appeal to the Valuation Tribunal within 28 days from the date of issue of the Valuation Certificate. Fees are payable. The appeal must be in writing, must specify the grounds of appeal and be accompanied by the appropriate fee.  If dissatisfied with the result of the appeal, one can appeal further on a ‘case stated’ basis, i.e. on a point of law only, to the High Court.
 
A Guide to the Valuation Appeal process is available from the Valuation Tribunal's Website - here . The Tribunal has also made a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) Guide available - here
 
Form for Appeal to Valuation Tribunal
Guide for completion of Form for Appeal to Valuation Tribunal
 

Where can I find the Rateable Valuation of my property? 
The Rateable Valuation of your property is specified on your rate bill.

The Rateable Valuation of your property (and of all other properties in the state) is also available on-line on the Valuation Office's Valuation List Search Facility.

 

Disclaimer: The Information provided above is for guidance purposes only, and is not intended as a definitive legal interpretation of the relevant governing legislation.

What is the Property Levy?
The property levy is a charge on newly valued commercial property which is entered on the Rate Book for the first time. The Property Levy was introduced by the Local Government (Business Improvement Districts) Act, 2006

 

How is the charge calculated?
The calculation is similar to that of Commercial Rates but the levy is charged only from the date of Valuation to end of year. Thus, if the date of Valuation of a new building is 1st May, the levy will be applied from 1st May to 31st December.

Example:

Rateable Valuation

€100.00

Effective Date of valuation

1st May 2017

No. of days to 31st of December 2017

245

Rate on Valuation for 2017 (ARV)

74.75

 
Levy Calculation:

R.V.

A.R.V.

No. of Days

Assessment

€100.00 x

74.75 x

245 ÷ 365

= €5,017.47

The Levy charged in former Town Council Areas is net of any applicable Base Year Adjustment in accordance with the provisions of the Local Government Reform Act, 2014.

 

What happens if the Rateable Valuation changes on appeal? 
The bill must be paid on the basis of the initial assessment. However, if the Rateable Valuation is altered on appeal, the levy will be adjusted accordingly. Resulting overpayments will be refunded or additional payments requested, as appropriate. 

 

Who is liable for the charge?
The occupier is liable to pay the levy. If the property is vacant it is the owner who is liable. 

 

If the property is unoccupied, is the charge payable?

Yes, but the levy is reduced by 50% if all three of the following conditions are met,

a)      The property was unoccupied when the rateable valuation was assessed, and,

b)        No person other than the owner is entitled to occupy, and,

c)        The owner was bona fide attempting to let the property.

If all three conditions apply, the owner should contact the Collection Office immediately on receipt of a levy bill - contact details below.
 

When is the levy to be paid?
The levy should be paid in full within 21 days of the issue of a bill by Cork County Council.
 

Is the levy payable as well as Commercial Rate?

Commercial Rates and Levy will not be charged on any particular premises for the same period. 

The levy will apply from the effective date of valuation of the property until the end of that year.  In most situations commercial rate will be charged from the start of the following year.  However, in rare cases the levy may be charged for the following year instead of Rate.

 

Can I pay my levy electronically/by Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT)?

Yes, you can pay your levy electronically/ by EFT. Cork County Council’s Bank Account details for levy payments are as follows:

Name of Account

Cork County Council

Bank

AIB Bank, 66 South Mall, Cork

Bank Sort Code

93 41 78

Bank Account No.

80919018

IBAN No. 

IE27  AIBK  934178 80919018

BIC

AIBKIE2D

 

**The above Bank Account is for receipt of Levy payments only. It is not to be used for any Rates payments to Cork County Council**

When paying by electronic transfer you must tag the payment with the levy account number(s).  You will generally enter this as the ‘Narrative’ to appear on Cork County Council’s Bank Statement and your own. Your Levy Account No. appears on your Levy Bill in the form of 7 digits followed by letters LV followed by 2 digits e.g. 6723456LV99

NB: Failure to reference the full correct levy account number may result in delays in a payment being credited to your levy account.

A remittance advice should also be sent to the Rate Collector, Cork County Council, Collection Office, Floor 6, County Hall, Cork or by email to collection@corkcoco.ie

 

I do not have access to EFT payments, can I pay my levy in other ways?
If you are not paying the levy by EFT you may pay using one of the following payment methods:
• Credit/Debit Card - a pay by phone facility is available on 021 4285514, from 9am to 4.30pm, Monday to Friday
• Standing Order (Click here for Standing Order form)
• In person at the Payments Office, Ground Floor, County Hall, Cork (located behind the Switchboard/Reception Desk)

Whichever method of payment is used, the levy account number(s) must be quoted in full. Your Levy Account No. appears on your Levy Bill in the form of 7 digits followed by letters LV followed by 2 digits e.g. 6723456LV99

NB: Failure to quote the full correct levy account number may result in delays in a payment being credited to your levy account.

 

Disclaimer: The Information provided above is for guidance purposes only, and is not intended as a definitive legal interpretation of the relevant governing legislation.