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Tag Archives: commercial rates

Councillors support rates increase in Ennis and Kilrush

BUSINESSES in Ennis and Kilrush will be hit by a hike in the commercial rate for the third consecutive year, after a majority of Clare county councillors supported the council’s controversial policy of rates harmonisation. Despite opposition from Ennis councillors and Kilrush Councillor Ian Lynch, rates harmonisation was supported by 17 votes to eight. Councillors also voted to approve the 2018 Budget Estimates by 17 votes to eight, after a two and a half hour meeting. Councillor Pat Hayes proposed the adoption of the estimates and this was seconded by Councillor Joe Cooney. According to the council, the latest increase amounts to 2.66% in Ennis in the annual rateable value and 3.94% in Kilrush. Chief executive officer Pat Dowling outlined that the Local Government Reform Act 2014 set out a process whereby the differences in rates multipliers between the former towns and the former county area have to be eliminated over time. This process commenced in 2016. At the same …

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Council owed €21m in commercial rates

CLARE County Council is owed close to €21 million in commercial rates, latest figures have confirmed. The figures also show that as well as the €20,995,000 outstanding for rates as of September 30, other monies owed to the council are €8.25m in development contributions, €1.65m in housing loans and rents, €629,000 in fire charges, €426,000 in LEO refundable aid and €1.5m for other charges. The details were released at this week’s meeting of the local authority on foot of a request by Councillor Michael Hillery, who described the amounts as “frightening”. “I know we are going through a recession and there are people availing of the council’s payment plans, but there are people out there who have money are not paying,” he said. He called on the Government to give councils the power to collect outstanding debts. “The council cannot carry on with debts like this, they have to be collected.” Niall Barrett, head of finance, commented, “In 2015, the …

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IBEC seeks greater support from councils

The new Ibec Mid West and Kerry president, Pat Keating has said doing business locally should be less taxing and the Mid West’s local authorities should support local economic growth. In an outline of the commercial rates paid in the region, he said Clare businesses paid €42 million or 39% of the local authority budget. Mr Keating, who is CEO of Shannon Foynes Port Company, was elected for a two-year term at Ibec’s Mid West AGM held in the Castletroy Park Hotel, Limerick this week. He said, “Businesses are the main source of income for our three local authorities. Commercial rates hit SMEs hardest because they generally represent the four biggest outlay for small businesses, after labour costs and rents. In the Mid West, local business pays €156 million or nearly 29% of the combined budget for region.” The breakdown of commercial rates paid by local business for each authority area in the Mid West is: Limerick: €54 million or …

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Valuation Bill worry for sports clubs

The Government’s Valuation Bill, which was debated in the Seanad this week, will see voluntary sports clubs forced to pay commercial rates, while trying to generate an income, a Fianna Fáil senator has claimed. Senator Mark Daly commented, “The Valuation Act, which was brought forward in the Dáil by my colleague, Deputy Barry Cowen, was designed to reduce unfair rates by limiting the charges to premises serviced by a bar. However, an amendment introduced by Minister of State Simon Harris will see sports clubs charged rates on income generated from areas other bars. This could see organisations forced to pay commercial rates for renting out sports halls, meeting rooms or other facilities. “I am urging the Government to reconsider its amendment, which goes much further than the original legislation was intended. While I believe that rates should be paid on the bar areas in these clubs, the imposition of rates on other facilities, which are essential revenue raising tools for …

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McKee lobbies for new rates at Skycourt

SINN Féin’s Shannon election candidate Mike McKee has proposed to Clare County Council that they apply a new commercial rates scheme for the Skycourt Shopping Centre.  He suggests it should be based on guidelines such as how long a premises has been vacant. Mr. McKee delivered a policy proposal document to the council and explained, “We need to develop Skycourt as a commercial and social hub for Shannon. That will encourage local people to shop locally and workers who visit Shannon every day to stop and shop here too. Lower rates will potentially provide more revenue as currently empty shells are opened up again. The weekly footfall in the centre is 50,000. That should be producing a far more vibrant shopping centre. The rents are actually amongst the lowest in the region but anyone we’ve talked to agrees that high commercial rates are a major problem”. “Senator Trevor O’Clochartaigh has asked the council on our behalf for an explanation about …

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‘Huge negative impact’ if rates rebate decreased

A REDUCTION in the rates rebate for vacant commercial buildings, proposed in the Local Government Bill 2013, “would have a huge negative impact on Shannon Airport”, it has been claimed by a Fianna Fáil TD. Under the current system, commercial properties are subject to rates payable to the local authority but, in Clare, a 100% rebate is subsequently applied where the property is unoccupied. In the Dublin City, Cork City and Limerick City local authority areas, property owners are entitled to only a 50% refund of their annual commercial rates liability if the property is empty. The new bill, which is being debated in the Dáil on Thursday, will standardise vacancy refunds across the country at 50%. Deputy Timmy Dooley said he plans to raise the issue in the Dáil. “I am deeply concerned about the impact it would have on landlords across the county, recognising that there has been a considerable downturn in commercial activity. Landlords are under enormous …

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