If City Hall plans to slash the Local Property Tax by 15 per cent, it needs to have a plan in place to cover the inevitable loss to revenue that will result.
This is the warning from the Galway Chamber, which also told the council not to look to business in the city “to foot the bill” through increased rates or other measures.
Sinn Féin councillors recently called on the Galway City Council to cut the controversial property tax and local authorities have it within their power to reduce the rate by up to 15 per cent, and Cork County Council accepted a motion for a reduction in the rate from its elected members.
The Galway Chamber however is calling on City Hall to instead introduce targeted rates reduction for companies located within town centres and to also slash prices in city centre car parks.
“Town centres have consistently suffered over the last number of years due to a combination of out of town shopping centres, excessive car parking charges, and the high cost of doing business,” said Galway Chamber president Frank Greene. “Car parking costs must be applied strategically to increase footfall in certain areas, thereby supporting businesses and jobs.”
The Chamber’s call follows a presentation by Chambers Ireland to the Oireachtas Committee on Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, which called for measures that would lead to a reduction in the cost of doing business in town centres and fair public procurement policies which do not discriminate against SMEs.
“Town and village centres are vital to our sense of community,” said Mr Greene. “Urgent action must be taken to support the rate-paying businesses that do so much to support them.”