LIMERICK Chamber chief executive Dr James Ring has called on the members of Limerick City and County Council to stand by their commitment to maintain the current commercial rate until 2019.
Earlier this week, Fine Gael stated it will not support any proposed increase in commercial rates over the next two years, and that it hopes Fianna Fail, their partners in coalition on Limerick City and County Council, will also hold this standpoint.
In advance of the council’s annual budget meeting on this Friday Dr Ring said: “Limerick City and County Council should stand by its previous commitment to maintain the current commercial rate until 2019.
“Last year, the commercial rate was increased by 5 per cent, with a commitment that there would be no further rate increases for the remaining Council term which expires in 2019. Limerick Chamber firmly believes that the Council should not renege on its commitment to uphold the present commercial rate until 2019,” Dr Ring added.
At a special council meeting last September, the Local Property Tax (LPT) was increased by 7.5 per cent above the 2014 base rate instead of an expected 10 per cent increase.
In this context, Dr Ring said: “Commercial rates should not be increased to compensate for the shortfall in property tax revenues, following the Council’s decision to reduce the increase in the property tax rate. Essentially, companies operating in Limerick should not bear the financial brunt of the Council’s decision concerning property taxes.
“In the current environment of higher costs and uncertainty over Brexit, the council should honour its commitment to the companies underpinning the revival of Limerick’s enterprise base,” he declared.