Independent TD Mattie McGrath has said there is widespread frustration among business owners and operators in Tipperary Town following confirmation from the Local Authority’s Head of Finance that the Council is not in a position to apply a reduction in chargeable rates. Deputy McGrath was speaking after he requested the application of a reduction in light of the major commercial disruption to businesses while work on the N24 Davitt Street Road Improvement Contract in Tipperary Town continues:
“The reply I received has generated quite a heated reaction from local businesses who feel, and rightly so, that the Council simply do not get the level of damage that is being done while the road works continue.
So many of the stores have seen their footfall almost dry up completely and that is completely unsustainable.
The Head of Finance says the Council is ‘disappointed’ about this; a lacklustre description that has only served to increase the anger around this matter.
I have been informed that the Council have refused the application because they have no legal basis for such a reduction.
I am also told that the local authority is obliged to levy rates in accordance with the valuations recorded on the Valuation Listing on the date of striking the rate, and there is no precedent for reducing the rates on an individual business due to disruption caused by development works of this nature.
My understanding however is that even if the Local Authority cannot initiate a revaluation, it can initiate a Revision of Rates with the Valuation Office.
What this means is that there is an option for the Local Authority to avail of a process through which the valuation of a particular property may be assessed between revaluations of the entire rating authority area in which that property is located.
This is clearly provided for under the Valuation Act 2001, as amended by the Valuation (Amendment) Act 2015.
In light of that I will be pursuing this matter further in the hope that some kind of exemption can be applied given the scale of the financial impact that commercial premises in the Town are experiencing,” concluded Deputy McGrath.