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Firms seek fairer local government rates

Thursday, September 04 16:51:35

Employers' group, Ibec, today called for a fairer system of local government charges for business.

It said that local business is the primary source of income for local government in Ireland. Every year, business contributes E1.3 billion or 35pc of the total local government budget putting increased pressures on local business. Any reduction in the local property tax must not result in an increase in commercial rates.

"The largest source of local government funding comes from business, not central government and not through the new property tax system. A tax on business is a tax on employment. Businesses are currently contributing an average of 35pc of the total local government budget to fund local services. This is at the time when rates have been held at boom time levels but their turnover is down 25pc, especially for SMEs in the domestic economy," said Ibec Senior Policy Executive Aidan Sweeney.

"A fairer system for local government charges is clearly needed, one that recognises the significant contribution being made by business. Reductions in income from the new property tax should not result in a rise in commercial rates. Any reductions in local charges or from local government reform should be first passed on to local businesses because this money would be better spent supporting local job creation, particularly in the SME community," he added.

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