Farm sheds like the one pictured above are subject to development contribution levies by Tipperary County Council
There has been a marked increase in levies paid by the agricultural sector in Tipperary since 2014
Farmers in Tipperary who have been improving their enterprises by building new sheds and demolishing old ones, have paid €0.5 million to Tipperary County Council in development contribution levies since 2019.
There has been a marked increase in levies paid by the agricultural sector in Tipperary from 2014, mainly due to the end of dairy quotas and the encouragement of farmers to increase their output as much as they can.
And, according as farmers put bricks and mortar onto their land to assist their business, they paid levies ranging from €20,674 in 2014 to a high of €106,916 last year. In Tipperary agricultural development levy rates lie at €5 per metre squared over 500m squared, and this is roughly the average price being charged by County Councils around Ireland - Carlow comes in at €6/metre squared for instance whereas Wexford comes in at €2 per metre squared.
The differential between counties has often been a bone of contention for farmers and their representatives bodies, but each County Council has the power to determine its own levies with elected representatives voting for the rates being put forward by management. The fees are levied on planning applications for new farm buildings - domestic rates would be different again, as would rates for commercial enterprises across the county.
Farmers in Tipperary have long argued that the development levies are supposed to be used for providing infrastructure in communities, but with most farmers operating in rural settings where the major infrastructure is the roadway - roads already paid for in road taxes - the farmers and their families see little actual benefit from the development contribution levy, they say.