Thursday, 30 July 2020

Questions (452)

Michael Ring

Question:

452. Deputy Michael Ring asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government if funding will be provided to local authorities in cases in which there has been a shortfall in rates income over the past number of months; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [19851/20]

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Written answers (Question to Housing)

The levying and collection of rates are legally matters for each individual local authority. Local authorities are under a statutory obligation to levy rates on any property used for commercial purposes. 

An initial three-month waiver of rates for businesses forced to close business due to COVID-19 was announced in early May.

In order to enhance the supports available for enterprise, and in recognition of the fact that not only have many ratepayers been forced to close business due to the public health requirements, but many others who remained open have suffered significant reductions in turnover, this waiver has now been extended for a duration of six months to the end of September and the categories of enterprise who will be eligible to avail of it has been expanded.

A 100% waiver will be applied to all businesses, for a six-month period to the end of September, with the exclusion of a small number of categories. The rationale for the exclusion of certain categories of ratepayers is that their operations were not as severely impacted by the pandemic, coupled with the need to direct resources appropriately.

To support both the local government sector and the ratepayers impacted, €600m has been allocated by Government to fund the cost of a waiver of commercial rates for six months for eligible businesses impacted by the COVID 19 pandemic. This will take the form of a credit in lieu of rates.

The Credit in Lieu of Commercial Rates shall be administered by Local Authorities.

Credits in lieu of commercial rates applied to ratepayer accounts under this scheme shall be applied as a credit on the rate bill for 2020. Local authorities should automatically apply a 100% credit in lieu of commercial rates, for a six-month period, to classes and categories of occupied rateable property where the occupying business is not in an excluded category.