Local election candidate Manus Kelly has set out to challenge the commercial rates system if elected this May.
The Fianna Fáil candidate for Letterkenny said that the current rates are ‘crippling’ local businesses and doing nothing to encourage new and existing businesses to grow.
The issue will be a key priority of his role, Kelly said: “On my canvass over the past 10 weeks I have visited a lot of businesses and the damning issue facing them all is the crippling rates bill they have to pay year on year to Donegal County Council.”
“They all ask angrily and with great concern, Why are my rates so high? What am I getting in return for this tax? We should be supported by our local authority and our government for our contribution to the local economy, not penalised! Where is this money been spent and how is it benefiting our businesses?”
The first-time candidate, who runs his own business at TFS Ireland in Letterkenny, said that rates continue to be biggest challenge facing local businesses.
The Glenswilly native commented: “Local businesses are the lifeblood of our local economy and I firmly believe that we need to see reform of the commercial rates system. The current system places too much emphasis on the perceived value of the business without taking into account the ability of the business to actually pay the rates. Rather than hitting shops and businesses with additional costs we should be encouraging more businesses into towns like Letterkenny.
“The long awaited commercial rates bill is now before the Dáil. A formal inability to pay clause should be provided for in the Bill to enable a struggling business to agree a path for payment into the future while keeping the business alive. Furthermore, a rate release scheme should be included to allow local authorities to reduce or eliminates rates for a new business in town centres and rural areas for up to two years.
“These proposals are being brought forward by my party in the Commercial Rates Bill and will be beneficial for new and existing business in the Letterkenny area.
“As a business owner and rates payer, if elected, I look forward to working with my party colleagues and local businesses to ensure that the voice of local business is represented so that towns like Letterkenny can be encouraged to grow and thrive.”Tags: