Ibec concerned at spike in commercial rates

RETAIL Ireland, the Ibec group that represents the sector, has expressed serious concern about an impending spike in the commercial rates bill for many retailers arising from the ongoing revaluation of commercial properties by the Valuations Office.

New research carried out on behalf of Retail Ireland on the recently completed national commercial property valuation programme, ‘Reval 2017’, highlights that the majority of retailers are facing substantial and unforeseen increases to their rates bills for the forthcoming year. In some local authority areas, close to 60% of retailers will see increases in their rates bills.

Thomas Burke, Director of Retail Ireland stated: “This data shows that there has been, and continues to be, a significant shift of the rates burden towards the retail sector through this revaluations process. It appears that retailers are outside of the reported claims that 60% of businesses will see a rates reduction following revaluation. It is the opposite in fact, with far more losing out. This clearly shows that the retail sector is being targeted to allow discounts to be applied to other sectors.”

Key findings from research on the revaluation process include:

In 2018, 14,500 retailers across the three local authority areas will be liable to pay €37 million or 25% of total commercial rates bill charged.

Businesses in South Dublin account for 52% approximately of the total local authority income, with the retail sector alone accounting for 12% of the total council’s budget; this is not sustainable.

The total rates paid by the retail sector across these three local authorities is greater than the commercial rates collected by 21 individual local authorities.

Mr Burke continued: “Retailers are increasingly paying a greater share of the total commercial rates bill, a position which threatens to undermine the competitiveness of the sector and places jobs and future investment in danger. We call on the Government to urgently begin a process to review the impact commercial rates are having on local businesses, and to begin a meaningful discussion with affected parties about how the current broken system can be reformed to ensure retailers don’t continue to shoulder an unfair and undue burden”.

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