Longford Town Council seeks €200,000 from second homes

Longford Town Council are to seek €200,000 in payments they believe are owed for money collected through the Non Principal Private Residence (NPPR).

Longford Town Council are to seek €200,000 in payments they believe are owed for money collected through the Non Principal Private Residence (NPPR).

The NPPR charge is the annual charge of €200 introduced by the Local Government (Charges) Act 2009 for all residential property not used as the owner's sole or main residence. During the past two years, Longford County Council has collected just over v1m since its introduction.

To date, Longford Town Council has received v120,000. However, with 38 percent of the second home properties located inside the town council's administrative area, the urban authority is set to seek the remaining €200,000 that it believes it is owed.

Cllr Alan Mitchell said Longford Co Council is obliged to reimburse the Town Council for the charges that are collected, less costs, for the urban authority's administrative area.

The Fine Gael representative said he sought figures from the Department and said the total collected in Co Longford for secondary homes was €572,760 for 2009 and €506,740 for 2010.

"The Town Clerk indicated previously that we received something in the order of €60,000. My view is that there is a considerable percentage of houses that are rented within the Town Council area," said Cllr Mitchell, who asked if there are more details available.

Town Clerk, Dan Rooney replied, "The County Council have indicated that 38 percent of the houses are in the town administrative area. That would leave a substantial amount of money payable to us – something in the region of €330,000, or thereabouts.

"We have only received €120,000 to date and we will certainly take it up with them. It appears under the Act that there is a legal obligation for the Co Council to pay that money to us."

Cllr Mitchell said it was important to obtain the exact figure ahead of budget meeting as it would have a bearing on the budget for next year.

He said it wasn't a problem that was unique to Longford.

"It has been happening in other areas where it is being used as a fund for county councils, but the Act is very clear and the money must be handed over. I can certainly say from the Town Council's point of view, there are a lot of good projects that we can use that money for," he added.