A new mediation service between county business and the Galway County Council is needed to investigate a fairer method of charging rates.
This is the view of Labour Athenry-Oranmore local election candidate Dessie O’Brien who says the rates system is in need of modernisation.
Mr O’Brien said the current approach, based on the size of a business is “antiquated” and that rates should be calculated on business turnover instead.
“Local businesses are under great pressure in the current climate, and should not have to put up with an outdated system,” he said.
Mr O’Brien believes the establishment of a mediation service would lead to a new and agreed method of calculating rates, one that could help “revitalise town centres like Loughrea, which are scarred with too many empty and derelict sites”.
The Labour candidate is also calling on the county council to look at a rates moratorium for new businesses, or, alternatively, offering start-ups a three-year window in which they pay rates on a phased/staggered basis