Councillors Sign Off On First Commercial Rates Increase In 13 Years In Budget 2022

Photo (c) Clare County Council

Clare County Councillors have signed off on the first commercial rates increase in 13 years in its 2022 Budget by a narrow margin.

The additional rates are expected to generate around €1.3 million in additional revenue for the local authority next year.

Clare County Council expenditure is projected to increase to €138.6 million next year, which is a near 8 million euro increase on 2021 levels.


Road Transport & Safety and Housing and Building are the two biggest areas of expense, at a combined 61 million euro.

Its income, meanwhile, is set to be around €86.7 million – which in comparison is an increase of around 5.3 million.

CEO Pat Dowling told the meeting of elected representatives last evening that the 2022 economic outlook for the local authority is ‘uncertain’ and that the year will bring post-Covid challenges to ‘a stark reality’.

One of the major ways the Council is set to plug this gap is through a 3.8 percent rate increase for businesses – something that hasn’t happened here for over a decade.

37 million euro in rates were generated in 2021 by 3,428 separate entities – though more than half of this money was contributed by just 149 businesses, including in energy generation, hospitality and Shannon Airport.

A number of Councillors said they couldn’t stand over a rates increase after a difficult 2 years for business, with other calling for a deferral on the matter to next week to look at alternative measures of balancing the books.

Despite this, Budget 2022 was adopted by 16 votes to 10, with Clare becoming only the third of the country’s 31 local authorities to approve such an increase this year.

Next year’s budget is now set to be signed off on officially before next Tuesday.