Two in 3 businesses (66%) believe that Local Authorities should reduce reliance on commercial rates by making greater use of Local Property Tax (LPT), according to Dublin Chamber’s most recent Business Outlook Survey.
With local authority budgets up for discussion over the coming months, the Chamber has been campaigning to avoid another increase in commercial rates by warning against populist measures that could leave holes in the finances later this year. Too often, commercial rates increases have effectively been treated as a ‘balancing item’ to make up for the shortfall caused by earlier decisions, such as reducing Local Property Tax - against official advice. This year there is no room for complacency.
Businesses already contribute around half of all local authority funding in the Dublin region through commercial rates, in addition to further contributions through various charges and levies. Meanwhile, Councils in Dublin draw just 3.2% of their income from LPT on average.
The emergency waiver from commercial rates is due to expire at the end of this month, and Dublin Chamber has warned that in the current climate, another commercial rates hike would be a bad move. We have called on local authorities to plan ahead to avoid increasing the financial burden on struggling businesses and, if necessary, to strengthen the case for funding for central Government. The latter will require a demonstrated willingness to make better use of existing revenue streams, including LPT. You can read what we have said on our website.
If your business stands to be impacted, we urge you to contact your local Councillor directly and ask them how they plan to avoid a rates hike later this year.
You can find their email addresses here for Dublin City, here for Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council, here for South Dublin County Council, and here for Fingal County Council.