A debate on commercial rates in advance of an annual budget meeting was ruled out at a meeting of Tipperary Town Council on Monday night.
Members voted five four against debating an amended motion calling on members to consider reducing commercial rates by 20% and decided to leave the issue until the annual meeting is held on December 15th.
Cllr.Brian Rafferty had tabled a motion calling on the council to agree to a 20% reduction in the c ommercial rates.He was informed that the motion as it stood could not be proceeded with because it would be illegal to have a debate on agreeing a rate reduction prior to the meeting to be held on December 15th.
An amendment proposed by Cllr.Denis Leahy that the Council consider reducing rates was seconded but members voted by five votes to four not to proceed with it.
During the meeting the members were told by manager Clare Curley that it would not be right to look at one aspect of the budget in isolation from everything else.
Town Clerk Paul Murray said that a workshop was arranged prior to the December 15th meeting which would be helpful for members.
Cllr.Billy Bourke said if members were discussing reducing commercial rates he wanted to discuss reducing rents in local authority houses as well.
Cllr.Mary Swords said the members should wait until the budget meeting to discuss the matter.
Cllr.Brian Rafferty said a similar motion was passed in Cashel .He felt a signal had to go out that business were struggling for survival.
Cllr.Denis Leahy said that traders were divided and the council members needed to give some direction.It would be better to discuss the issues rather than allow a lot of damage to be caused by false information going around inthe weeks leading up to the budget meeting.
Councillors Finnan,Bourke,Creamer,Swords and Wallace voted against the amendment and councillors Leahy,Devitt,Tuohy Halligan and Rafferty voted for the amendment.