Local authorities are currently owed over €948m in unpaid various levies, rents and charges, but have been forced to write off millions because the debts are now no longer collectable.
Local Government audited figures presented have concluded that householders and businesses owe at least €588m to City and County Councils in relation to unpaid water charges, rates, housing rents and property loans.
In addition, €360m is owed in building development levies, bringing the amounts outstanding to €948m. Councils have written off some €161m in unpaid debts because the money cannot be collected. This fact is due to companies going out of business and a poor collection performance. Local authorities have made provision to write-off two-thirds of this amount currently outstanding, which amounts to some €232m.
Some €56m is owed in unpaid housing rents, with €1.9m already written off. The lowest collection rate here is found to be in South Dublin at 74%, and the highest is in North Tipperary at 99%.
There has also been a fall in commercial water arrears, down €10m to €139m, with around €16m written off. Some 56% of businesses pay their charges, with the lowest collection rates in Leitrim at 27%, and the highest rate is in South Tipperary at 83%.