“No plans to review commercial rates despite national collection of €1.3 billion” Mattie McGrath
Independent TD Mattie McGrath has called on the Minister for Housing; Planning and Local Government, Eoghan Murphy, to clarify why his department has failed to conduct a review of the economic impact of local authority rates on small and medium businesses. Deputy McGrath was speaking after the Minister confirmed the absence of the review to him despite acknowledging that the annual rate on valuation (ARV) increased each year from 2016 to 2018:
“We now know that from 2015-2017 local authorities collected over €4 billion in rates nationally, with €1.34 billion of that coming in during 2017 alone.
The latest available figures for Tipperary are from 2016 which show that while €34.1 million in commercial rates were due to be collected, only €26.4 million was actually collected leaving the arrears at €7.7 million.
This should clearly demonstrate that businesses are struggling to pay existing levels of commercial rates, never mind having to deal with year on year increases such as those confirmed by the Minister today.
It is vitally important that Tipperary businesses and SME’s are supported, especially in light of the challenges that Brexit is inevitably going to pose.
The Local Government (Rates) Bill 2018 which includes provisions to allow local authorities to introduce rates alleviation schemes to support local economies will be debated in the Dáil later today.
However, this is a Bill that should have been prioritised well before now given how clear it was clear that local businesses were struggling with increasing rate payments and reduced service provision by the council since 2016 at least,” concluded Deputy McGrath.