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By Chamber Press Office, 19 November 2018
Dublin Chamber has called on elected councillors in Dublin City to reject plans for an increase in commercial rates.
The Chamber, reacting to proposals to increase rates by 1.1% in Dublin City, described the planned change as ‘short-sighted’ and ‘unfair’ on businesses that are already facing significant cost increases for 2019.
The Chamber issued the call ahead of tonight’s Dublin City Council meeting, at which the 2019 Council budget will be discussed.
Dublin Chamber CEO Mary Rose Burke said: “About €4 in every €10 of Council funding already comes from businesses. Commercial rates paid by the business community accounted for over a third (37%) of revenue in the Dublin City Council area last year. The proposed increases will have a real impact on businesses operating on tight margins, many of whom are already facing a VAT increase following the recent Budget. Any increase in rates will come as a further blow to them.”
The Chamber said increasing commercial rates is particularly galling given that Councillors in Dublin City have voted in recent years to apply a 15% discount to Local Property Tax charges.
Ms Burke said: “While Property Tax has been cut, the relief offered to homeowners has never been extended to businesses. There is a strong perception in the business community that this owes more to electoral concerns than to mature and balanced decision-making. As usual, it seems businesses are expected to pick up the tab for populist politics.”
Dublin Chamber is encouraging elected councillors to listen to the past advice of Dublin City Council CEO Owen Keegan and adopt a more modest Local Property Tax reduction, which would allow for commercial rates to be kept the same.
Ms Burke said: “We all want better public services in Dublin, but it shouldn’t’ be left to the businesses to pick up the bill. All the business community want is to see fairness in how monies are collected. Sadly we’re not seeing that at the moment and any increase in commercial rates would increase this discrepancy.”