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.
“Clonmel 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 downturn” said Clonmel Chamber President Mark Small.
“We 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.