Household charge dodgers will get reminders this weekJuly 3, 2012 - 7:00am
BY KATIE FINNEGAN
REMINDER letters urging those who have not paid the household charge to do so began falling through letterboxes yesterday (Monday).
Around 50% of Galway homeowners eligible to pay the charge still have not done so according to a spokesperson from Galway City Council.
He said that while some people did pay the charge after the deadline, the figure of those who have yet to pay stands at 50%.
Some 105,000 letters are being sent out this week around the country and these reminder letters will be the first of three warning letters. The second letter will warn of the consequences of non-payment, while a third will threaten court action if payment is not made.
The Local Government Management Agency said it had analysed data to identify those who have yet to pay. The Revenue Commissioners, ESB Networks, the Department of Social Protection, Private Residential Tenancies Board along with other agencies agreed to share data in order to identify those who have yet to pay.
The homeowners who still have not paid currently owe €100 for the charge, plus a penalty of €14.
Chairperson of the household charge project board Jackie Maguire said that if people ignored all three warning letters, local authorities would pass those cases to their law agents, who will bring them to court.
Meanwhile, the Campaign Against Household & Water Taxes said the reminder letters "will only add to the determination of the mass non-payment campaign".
"Deciding to send out thousands of letters threatening homeowners who have taken a principled stand in resisting the imposition of this austerity tax will not affect the peoples' determined resistance,” said John Lyons of the campaign group.
The news that letters are being sent out has led to many people expressing their anger online. “Send me all the letters you want. I'll send one back stating why I won't be paying this and whatever property tax you try to introduce next year.”
Another person said: “They just do not seem to be getting the message, the people who have not paid by now have no intention of paying at all, and all the warnings will make no difference. About time people in this country stood up to the self serving bullies that call themselves government.”
People who wish to pay the household charge can do so online at householdcharge.ie, by credit and debit card or by cheque, postal order and bank drafts at their local authority office.