19 Jan 2022

BIG READ: Commercial vacancy levy motion for Tipperary defeated at meeting


Tipperary Tipperary Tipperary

File photo

At the recent budget meeting of Tipperary County Council, March4Tipp Independent Cllr Annemarie Ryan proposed to increase the commercial vacancy rate waiver by 10%.

This increase was targeted at large commercial empty properties whose rate bill is more than €10,000 .

Cllr Ryan argued that these larger empty commercial premises are already receiving a waiver of 70% and she pushed for the waiver to be reduced by a further 10% to 60%.

This would leave the larger units liable for 40% of their rate bill while they remain empty. She said that these commercial vacancies are the blight of many towns and villages in Tipperary and that the council should be disincentivising property owners from leaving these large properties idle.

“Many of these large empty units are owned by investors and wealthy business owners who may also be owners of multiple properties. The rate increase is not targeted at smaller individual business owners. To put it in perspective, if you look at Tipperary Town Main Street, an area blighted by vacant commercial properties, there is only one property that falls into this higher category, this property is developer owned. The rate bill for this property is approximately €16,369. With the 70% waiver, that liability reduces to €4,910, an increase by 10% would have increased that liability to €6,547.62.”

In addition, Cllr Ryan requested that the monies raised should be ring-fenced to assist tackling dereliction within the county. Cllr Ryan’s motion was opposed by Cllr Michael Murphy who stated that these business owners are already struggling through Covid-19 and that this would only add an extra burden on them.

Cllr Ryan was supported by Cllrs David Dunne, Tony Black and Pat English in the vote to increase the levy on the larger empty commercial properties, however, her amendment was defeated.

Cllr Ryan points out that at the 2019 budget, through her concerted efforts and those of the Sinn Féin councillors, Tipperary County Council introduced, for the first time, charges on larger commercial vacant properties, with the promise that these rates would be reviewed annually.

So far, the vacant property charge has generated approximately €110,000 in revenue, with the 2021 figures expected to show an increase by year end. Cllr Ryan is a member of the #March4Tipp Group, a collection of concerned citizens, from voluntary, community, retail and business sectors, and is strictly non-political.

To continue reading this article for FREE,
please kindly register and/or log in.

Registration is absolutely 100% FREE and will help us personalise your experience on our sites. You can also sign up to our carefully curated newsletter(s) to keep up to date with your latest local news!

Register / Login

Buy the e-paper of the Donegal Democrat, Donegal People's Press, Donegal Post and Inish Times here for instant access to Donegal's premier news titles.

Keep up with the latest news from Donegal with our daily newsletter featuring the most important stories of the day delivered to your inbox every evening at 5pm.