RATE-PAYERS have until this Sunday to appeal the new valuations that were placed on their properties following a revaluation of all 6,700 commercial properties in Limerick city and county last year.
The revaluation was carried out by the independent Valuation Office and initially sparked a lot of protests from property owners, with some claiming their rates would increase by up to 50% as a result. In some extreme cases, owners spoke of four-fold increases and in one case, cited by Cllr Michael Collins (FF), a start-up agribusiness was facing a bill of thousands of euro where previously none applied.
The revaluation was based on potential rental from a property based on the 2012/2013 market values.
But some objectors, which initially included the Newcastle West Business Association, said many of the properties being revalued could not be rented out at any price in the current climate.
The full picture has yet to emerge about the revaluation exercise: how many properties were valued upwards, how many saw their valuations decrease or what sectors were most affected. However, it is expected that the majority will face decreased bills.
However, anybody who is not happy with the new valuation can now formally appeal. An appeal form can be obtained from the Valuation Office in Dublin or downloaded from their website at www.valoffice.com A system of graded fees apply to each appeal.
Cllr Jerome Scanlan claimed this week that the revaluations were still contentious in some cases and he urged people who felt their valuation to be unfair to seek advice urgently and to note the deadline for appeals. People who own empty property can also appeal, the Fine Gael councillor pointed out.