The vacant sites levy is designed to prevent land hoarding and contribute to lowering home prices. Yet, only four local authorities collected the levy, worth 7% of the value of the unused land, last year. Amazingly, eight councils had not opened a vacant sites register at the end of last year.
How can this be? Is land hoarding unknown outside of those four authority areas?
Are these laws just another example of legislative virtue signalling?
Local authorities' administration of this obligation has been so ineffective that the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government has, for the second time in seven months, demanded a firmer, more effective approach.
Oireachtas' Parliamentary Budget Office (PBO) has reported that €2.3m was outstanding at the end of 2019 and that a modest €882,000 had been collected.