Businesses face 10 years of rates hikes

Cllr Kieran Bourke appealed to Town Council to improve signs  warning truck drivers of the height of Pill Road rail bridge.
Carrick-on-Suir town

Carrick-on-Suir town

businesses face a gradual increase in their commercial rates bills over the next ten years to bring their rates fees into line with other areas of the county but there won’t be any hike next year, a Municipal District Council meeting heard.

Equalisation of commercial rates fees is one of the knock-on effects of the merger of north and south Tipperary county councils.

And it’s bad news for Carrick-on-Suir businesses as the current Rateable Valuation Multiplier (RVM) of 50.99 for the town on which the tax is calculated is the second lowest in the country.

Carrick-on-Suir Municipal District Council’s Budgetary Plan meeting heard a discount will be applied to Carrick rate payers for 2015, which means their rate bills will stay the same as this year.

But that discount will be gradually decreased for Carrick rate payers over the following nine years to bring their RVM into line with the Co. Council RVM.

Carrick-on-Suir councillor Kieran Bourke said Carrick-on-Suir Business Association had huge concerns about the (county councils) amalgamation and what it meant for their businesses.

Cllr Bourke said equalisation of rates was a “big bone of contention” for him. It was an “unfair” measure as no two towns were the same.

He warned that he would not support the Co. Council budget if the businesses of his town faced rates increases over the next ten years.

Cllr Bourke said he did a survey of vacant business premises in Carrick a few years ago and found 43 were vacant. He also pointed out that about 25% of rate payers in the town were in arrears with their rates bills because they can’t afford to pay them.

Co. Council Head of Finance Liam McCarthy said rates would be discussed and set for the county at the Co. Council’s main budget meeting for 2015.

He said there were a number of towns like Carrick in the county that had lower Rateable Valuation Multipliers than the county council RVM of 56.77.

Cllr Bourke responded that business people in the county’s smaller towns and villages were the ones paying for the amalgamation of north and south Tipperary county councils.

Mr McCarthy pointed out that businesses in places like Mullinahone had their rates bills based on a RVM of 56.77 compared to 50.99 in Carrick. That was inequality, he argued.

But Cllr Bourke shot back that there wasn’t one multi-national drapery in the town, which meant local people travelled to Clonmel, Dungarvan, Kilkenny and Waterford for shopping.

“That is why you haven’t equalisation,” he declared.

The meeting heard that Carrick-on-Suir Business Association requested to meet with senior Council management about its concerns over rates equalisation some months ago but the meeting hadn’t taken place yet.

Council officials agreed to arrange a meeting with the Association.