No reduction in rates: Chamber ‘disappointed’

The Fianna Fáil/Independent alliance on Roscommon County Council have failed to deliver commitment to reduce commercial rates by 2 per cent next year, with the rate instead to be unchanged.

  The President of the Roscommon Chamber of Commerce, Declan Molloy, has described the news as “disappointing”.

  At the draft budget meeting for 2016 on Thursday, November 26, the local authority adopted a budget of €54 million for expenditure next year, which represented a slight increase on the €53.4 million for this year.

  However, there is no blanket reduction in rates, despite a promise made by the alliance when they took over control of the council in June 2014. 

  Then, the alliance of Fianna Fáil and the Independents had committed that, “over the next five years, we will try to reduce rates on business people in the county by 10 per cent. That’s 2 per cent in each budget for the next five years.”

  Yet last year, only a 1 per cent rate reduction was agreed and, for 2016, no reduction whatsoever will apply. 

  The council have agreed a rates incentive whereby all business with rates of less than €5,000 would have a 5 per cent rates reduction if they paid their liability before June 30 of each year.

  Chamber President Mr Molloy said: “It is disappointing that there is nothing coming for businesses over the €5,000 mark. We had requested a 2 per cent decrease across the board, which didn’t materialise.

  “For any business, including myself, who are over €5,000, we get nothing at all in the rates, so it is disappointing in that regard. Even if I was offered some sort of a discount for paying on time or ahead of time, it would be something.”