Ó Cuív calls for major reform of commercial rates charges

Galway West TD Éamon Ó Cuív,

Galway West TD Éamon Ó Cuív,

The valuations used to calculate the commercial rates by local authorities are “completely inflated”, do not “resemble current property valuations”, and are unfair.

This is the view of Fianna Fáil deputy leader and Galway West TD Éamon Ó Cuív, who is calling on the Government to review the local authority rates and introduce “a much fairer and more reasonable system for local businesses”.

On Tuesday Fianna Fáil introduced a motion in the Dáil calling for “an immediate and substantial cut” in commercial valuations at every local authority across the State. The motion also calls for a 50 per cent cut in the rates charged on businesses based on offshore islands in view of the additional costs they face.

Dep Ó Cuív said the proposals would “make a huge difference” in Galway as “thousands of businesses in the west are under serious pressure to meet their costs”.

He said the rates charged by the local authorities are often the biggest burden, especially as the “system is no longer fair” because the valuation lists used for most commercial properties “hardly resemble current property valuations”, resulting in rates that are “completely inflated”.

Dep Ó Cuív said that in the current climate there needs to be valuation reduction at every local authority and other methods of valuation, such as self assessment, be examined. He added that any new system should take into account each business’s ability to pay.

The Galway West TD accused the Government of “shrugging off this issue” at a time when businesses in Galway “need as much support as possible” from the State.

“It is crucial we give small businesses as much breathing room as we can in order to secure their future and encourage growth and job creation,” he said. “The Fianna Fáil proposal only asks for what is fair and seeks to modernise an outdated system that is full of anomalies.”

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