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Retail Ireland Calls For 'Urgent Reform' Local Authority Rates System

Published on Jul 11 2017 10:59 AM

Retail Ireland Calls For 'Urgent Reform' Local Authority Rates System

Retail Ireland has recently issued a policy report which underlines weaknesses in the local authority rates system.

The policy report, entitled Tackling the rates burden, points out many of the flaws within the current local authority rate procedure, and also goes on to give solutions to those flaws. The report advises the government to make reforming the current system a priority, by introducing a Rates Valuation Bill.

Thomas Burke, Director of Retail Ireland, commented, "Local authority rates make up a significant portion of total input costs for Irish retailers. The current system is opaque, inconsistent, inefficient and expensive to operate. Irish retailers are willing to pay their share in order to help improve local services, however the current system is wasteful and places an undue cost burden on retailers.

"Retailers have seen a significant increase in rates in recent years with very little return in terms of new service provision. This is of particular concern as retailers feel the pressure of rising costs across a range of other inputs such as labour, rent and utilities. This is leading to a general erosion of the sectors' competitiveness."

In its report, Retail Ireland suggest that the new rates system should introduce a centralised collection process, stop linking rates to rents, reform the revaluation system, progress on local government reform, and increase local property tax intake.

Burke then went on to stress the importance of the retail sector's role in the Irish economy. He concluded, "Urgent action is needed to address the threat to the sector's competitiveness posed by the current dysfunctional local authority rates system if we are to maintain retail’s key economic and social role in Irish society."

© 2017 - Checkout Magazine by Patrick Lewers

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