Almost €55 million has been returned to Cork’s local authorities as part of the commercial rates rebate from the Government.
During the Covid-19 pandemic as businesses were forced to close, commercial rates for businesses were granted a fee waiver on commercial rates.
Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage Darragh O’Brien and Minister of State with responsibility for Planning and Local Government Peter Burke have now written to the Chief Executives of both local authorities to reiterate the Government’s support for local government.
The second tranche of commercial rates rebates have been issued to local authorities across the country with Cork City and County Councils so far receiving €54,724,578, with further payments to issue in December.
As part of the July Stimulus programme a €600m commercial rates waiver was announced for businesses impacted by Covid-19.
This covered 100% of commercial rates from the end of March to the end of September. As part of Budget 2021 a further €300m commercial rates waiver was announced to cover rates to the end of the year.
Minister O’Brien said that this funding means local government “won’t be at a loss or having to make ‘either’ ‘or’ decisions” when it comes to providing services.
“We are very aware that commercial rates are the backbone of local authority income which means that services such as playgrounds, sports facilities and library services can keep operating,” he said.
“We will continue to work with our colleague Michael McGrath TD, Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, to support local authorities meet costs and income losses that have arisen as a direct consequence of the pandemic.
“I would like to take this opportunity to commend all our local authorities for the exceptional leadership they have shown through their response to the Covid-19 pandemic,” he added.
Minister Peter Burke echoed his comments and said the response to Covid-19 from local authorities “has been phenomenal”.