Cllr Jackie Cahill has called for changes to be made to the current rates system to alleviate the burden on small and medium businesses in Tipperary. The Tipperary County Councillor made the call following the introduction of a Fianna Fáil Bill in the Dáil last week aimed at streamlining rates across the country.
Cllr Cahill commented, “Businesses across Tipperary have borne the brunt of the recession. Income levels have dropped dramatically for many Tipperary businesses in recent years. Despite this commercial rates remain punitive and are placing a further burden on the lifeblood of our towns and villages.
“Sadly it is all too common to see boarded up shop fronts in our urban areas. The government is telling us that economic recovery is well underway yet despite this many businesses in Tipperary remain under severe pressure. The future is looking positive but our economic recovery remains fragile. The government needs to take action to streamline commercial rates to give perspective entrepreneurs the certainty that they need to put in place their business plans. Current small and medium sized enterprise owners also need to be given an incentive to expand their business now that we are emerging from recession.
Cllr. Cahill went on to highlight the key changes proposed by Fianna Fáil.
“Current legislation makes it very difficult for entrepreneurs to set up a new business. A system needs to be put in place that gives breathing space to retailers who may be experiencing financial problems while incentivising new businesses to setup in our towns and villages. Only by doing this will our economy begin to grow in a meaningful manner.
“The Local Government (Rates and Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill 2014 that Fianna Fáil recently introduced in the Dáil aims to create a fairer and more streamlined billing structure. It will introduce a single mechanism for annual rates valuation, a refund scheme for vacant properties and a new review system. It will also address the exorbitant costs that are preventing new businesses from opening and smothering existing ones. These are sensible proposals to the current problems that entrepreneurs are facing and I urge the government to support the Fianna Fáil Bill” said Cllr. Cahill.