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The Council has always been sensitive to the difficult environment in which businesses operate. To alleviate some of the pressure in 2017 a new business support scheme for eligible ratepayers was introduced as part of the 2017 budgetary process and approved by Members at their Meeting held in March 2018.

For 2018 the Council has expanded and enhanced the scheme providing for graduated grant payments dependent on the level of rates payable with the grant varying from 10% to 4% of the 2017 rates bill. The amount of the 2018 grant payable to qualifying ratepayers will be calculated as follows:

Rates Payable 2017                          2018 Grant                 Maximum Grant

Less than or Equal To €3,000 ....... 10% of Rates Bill ..................€300

Between €3,001- €5,000 ................. 8% of Rates Bill .................. €400

Between €5,001 - €10,000 .............. 6% of Rates Bill .................. €600

Between €10,001 – €20,000 ........... 4% of Rates Bill ................. €800                                    

It will not be necessary for eligible businesses to apply for the support scheme payment.  Application of the grant will be made to eligible ratepayers as follows:

a)  Accounts paying by direct debit will have an adjustment made to their final payment in November/December 2018.

b)  Accounts paid in full by other methods will have the grant automatically applied as a credit to their account at the beginning of 2019 and prior to the issue of that year’s rate bill.

c)  Where requested in writing, the Council will facilitate the application of the grant in 2018.

 

Terms and Conditions of the Scheme

  1. The relevant property must be a commercially rated property in the Council’s administrative area.
  2. Total commercial rates assessed on the rate account for 2017 must be €20,000 or less. The amount of the grant will be calculated as follows:   

    Rates Payable 2017                          2018 Grant                 Maximum Grant

    Less than or Equal To €3,000 ....... 10% of Rates Bill ..................€300

    Between €3,001- €5,000 ................. 8% of Rates Bill .................. €400

    Between €5,001 - €10,000 .............. 6% of Rates Bill .................. €600

    Between €10,001 – €20,000 ........... 4% of Rates Bill ................. €800                                                                                                           

  3. The commercial rates for 2018, including arrears if any, relating to the relevant account or any other account by the rated occupier must be paid in full by the 1st July, 2018. This date applies unless an agreement to pay by year end 2018 is agreed prior to 1st July, 2018.  In very exceptional circumstances, an agreement to pay the arrears only over a longer period may be considered but 2018 rates must be paid in full in 2018.
  4. Agreements to pay by year end 2018 require the ratepayer to sign up for direct debit payments prior to the 1st July, 2018.  In very exceptional circumstances other payment methods may be accepted.
  5. Occupiers currently on or newly signed up to direct debit payments are accepted as an agreement to pay 2018 rates and arrears, if any, by year end 2018. Application of the grant will be made to eligible ratepayers that have adhered to their direct debit arrangement by adjustment of their final direct debit payment in November/December 2018.
  6. Where a vacant property qualifies for a rates refund/rates vacancy property adjustment then the grant payment will only be payable on that element of the rates bill that does not qualify for a rates vacancy refund/ rates vacancy adjustment.
  7. Where occupancy of a property is transferred during 2018,  the Support Grant may be availed of by the occupier for the relevant period of their occupancy subject to Section 32 of the Local Government Reform Act 2014 (duty to inform rating authority of transfer of relevant property) being complied with.
  8. The scheme shall apply for the period 1st January to 31st December, 2018.
  9. Occupiers qualifying for this Support Grant may also qualify for other Business Supports available from the Council.

Section 66 of the Local Government Act 2001, as amended by Section 43 of the Local Government Reform Act 2014, provides that a local authority may provide such financial assistance as it considers appropriate to promote the interests of the local community, including enterprise and economic development interests. The adoption of the proposed Business Support Scheme 2018 – Up To 10% of Rates Bill for Eligible Ratepayers, under Section 66 of the L.G Act 2001 as amended by Section 43 of the L.G Reform Act 2014, is a reserved function of the Council and accordingly the following draft motion is submitted for consideration by Council.

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