Retailers urge rates system overhaul

Rates and rising rents are making life difficult for all retailers
Rates and rising rents are making life difficult for all retailers

Retail Ireland has launched a new policy paper, Tackling the Rates Burden, whcih highlights several deficiencies in the system which governs the collection of local authority rates from retailers every year.

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10 July 2017 | 0

Retail Ireland’s new policy paper, titled Tackling the Rates Burden, has addressed what it calls serious deficiencies in the system which governs how local authority rates are levied and collected from retailers across the country.

According to the report, more than €200m is left uncollected each year by local authorities due to these deficiencies.

Meanwhile, the prevalence of upwards-only rent reviews along with the link between rental and rates, means that many retailers are paying disproportionate costs.

Retail Ireland’s bill calls for the Government to introduce a Rates Valuation Bill by the end of this year.

“Local authority rates make up a significant portion of total input costs for Irish retailers,” said Thomas Burke, director of Retail Ireland. “The current system is opaque, inconsistent, inefficient and expensive.

Irish retailers are willing to pay their share in order to improve local services,” Burke said, “but the current system places undue cost burden on retailers, and is also wasteful.”

Retail Ireland’s report recommends the new systems should:

  • Introduce a centralised collection process for rates
  • End the link between rent and rates
  • Reform the revaluation system
  • Progress on local government reform
  • Increase local property tax intake

“The Irish retail sector is a driving force in the economy,” Burke continued. “It employs more than 280,000 people in every town and village in the country, and is the biggest contributor to the exchequer.

“Urgent action is needed to address the threat to the sector’s competitiveness, posed by the dysfunctional local authority rates system,” he said.

 

 

 

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