CLLR Cora Harvey has called for a new rates system.
Speaking at the public meeting in Ballybofey were the local Chamber of
Commerce were looking for 25% Rate cut Cllr Harvey said: “This is an age old problem, our rate system is archaic, it hasn’t changed in more than 100 years and it is about time that some Government looked at this problem.
“Sinn Fein has constantly called for the legislation to be renewed and amended, the current system is not fit for purpose for modern Ireland, it is inequitable and needs reform.
“I know that rates are currently the largest burden for small business
and are forcing businesses out of existence; a fairer rate system will
provide an economic stimulus because reduced rates will leave more
money for jobs and investment in businesses.
“Whilst I totally sympathise with the local business community and
would like to support them in any way that I can, but at the minute a
25% cut in rates is not feasible, – I just cannot see it happen in the
“The Council could not continue to fund public services if
a rate cut such as this were imposed. Yes of course if the Council
were retaining the income from local property tax collections and
household charges, NPPR collections etc and the local Government fund
was not reducing then off course a massive rate cut would certainly be
fought for and got. But unfortunately at present I don’t think this is
“What needs to happen is a change in the Legislation which would see
rates payable based on profitability as opposed to size of the
business premises, there should be different rate bands for businesses
for different levels of profits.”
She said the system is wrong, a business in a small premises could have a massive turnover with little overheads and paying small rates, and in the same street a business operating from a large sq footage because of service need, could be turning over a small profit and paying massive rates.
Cllr Harvey added: “Whilst we will look for savings in Council and strive to reduce rates I would urge business’s who are having difficulty to talk to the
Council and get the payments re-structured and in the meantime we will
lead the campaign nationally to call for a change in the rate system.”