Businesses still pay ’boomtime’ rates, says Ibec

Lobby group says its members paid an average of €335,000 in rates last year

Employers’ group Ibec says businesses are still paying “boomtime” commercial rates to local authorities and that in most counties businesses pay far more into the system than they get back in services.

The lobby group yesterday released a report into the level of commercial rates and water charges paid by businesses in counties across the State.

It said its members, which include some of the largest companies in the State, paid an average of €335,000 in rates last year.


Value of services
"The revenue from commercial rates in most local authority areas is substantially higher than the underlying value of public services (street lighting, road maintenance, street cleaning, etc)," it said.

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The report included a league table of water charges paid by businesses to each council.

Wicklow topped the table for the second year running, charging businesses €3.03 per cubic metre of water, almost double the rate of Kildare and 50 per cent more than Dublin City Council.

Bryan Doyle, director of services in Wicklow County Council’s water division, defended the charges yesterday and said it subsidised the rates charged. “If we looked for the full cost, the charge would be €4.35 per cubic metre.”

The council blamed the cost of servicing €25 million of infrastructural loans for the level of its charges.

Neil Walker, Ibec's head of energy and environment policy, warned local authorities not to increase water charges for business in the run-up to the establishment of Irish Water.

Mark Paul

Mark Paul

Mark Paul is Business Affairs Correspondent of The Irish Times. He also writes the Caveat column