Cautious Welcome To Rate Reform Plans

Photo © Clare FM

A cautious welcome has been given in Clare to new Government plans to reform commercial rates.

Local authorities are to be given the power to significantly reduce commercial rates for businesses in their areas, as part of a move by the cabinet.


The Housing Minister Simon Coveney has secured approval to repeal legislation governing rates and replace it with a more modern system.

It follows reports of some some business owners are facing massive increases in their rates following, valuations of their premises in the wake of the crash.

Proposals include rate-alleviation schemes and a six-month exemption from rates, when a property becomes vacant to allow the owner to seek new tenants.

But Ennis-based lobby group, Retail Excellence Ireland says it’s important that existing businesses can also avail of reductions.

Head of Public Affairs and Communications, Lorraine Higgins has vowed to put pressure in the Environment Minister to ensure that all businesses in the industry are protected.

Ennis Chamber has warned that while certain businesses could gain from the proposals, businesses in smaller, older towns like Ennis, Kilrush, Ennistymon, Scarriff or Tulla could lose out by being rated on a modern basis.

41% of Clare County Council’s income comes from commercial rates, which is lower than only seven other areas in the country.

Ennis Chamber Will Cahir is concerned that there’s an over reliance on businesses to provide local authorities with an annual income.