The President of Clonmel Chamber has asked the Tipperary County Councillors considering reducing the local property tax to also reduce commercial rates.
The request comes on foot of a letter sent by Clonmel Chamber to all 40 County Councillors asking that any possible LPT reduction not come at the expense of commercial rate payers.
â€œClonmel Chamber actively supports any reduction in the Local Property Tax, as such a reduction would alleviate some financial pressures on householders in the area and increase the amount of disposable income available.
However, if such a reduction were to be funded by an increase in commercial rates it would result in business closures and job losses. Clonmel Chamber and our members would strongly oppose such a course of action.
The business community are already the single largest funder of Local Government in Tipperary.
Clonmel Chamber member companies employ over 10,000 people. Our members range from start -up companies to globally known manufacturers.
While households are coming to terms with a property tax and water charges for the first time, these are charges the business community has faced for years and were obliged to pay throughout the economic downturnâ€ said Clonmel Chamber President Mark Small.
â€œWe appreciate that legislation from Central Government allows Councils to cut the tax by 15% and we understand that this was a manifesto commitment offered by many candidates. Subsequently, they have a legitimate mandate to call for such a reduction; however, we are extremely concerned that such a move will result in a shortfall in funding that will be met through an increase in commercial rates. A fairer means of supporting communities and jobs would be to reduce both the local property tax and commercial rates.
We are calling on all local councillors to make a commitment that any reduction in Local Property Tax will not be subsidised by a rise in commercial rates.