Intro Text 

Amendment to Scheme

 

The Council is conscious of the negative impact that COVID 19 is having on many businesses throughout the County.  This may affect their ability to pay their rates in full or enter into an agreement to pay by the 1st July in accordance with the Terms of Conditions of the Scheme as approved. 

 

Accordingly the Terms and Conditions have been amended by extending the date by which ratepayers must pay in full or enter into an agreement to pay to the 1st November, 2020.

 

In addition, the requirement to pay the 2020 rates in full by year end to qualify is also been amended to allow a longer period to pay subject to entering into an agreement to do so.

 

Introduction:

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

To ensure that ratepayers received the same level of grant from one year to the next and were not negatively impacted by subsequent increases in the ARV it was agreed to continue to allocate grant payments based on the 2017 rates bill amount.

 

Calculation of Grant:

For 2020, having assessed various options and having regard to the available budget, it is proposed to continue the scheme providing for graduated grant payments dependent on the level of rates with the grant varying from 4% to 10% of the 2017 rates bill. The amount of the 2020 grant payable to qualifying ratepayers will be calculated as follows;

Rates Payable 2017                                   2020 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

 

Automatic application of grant:

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:

  1. Accounts paying by direct debit will have an adjustment made to their final payment in November/December 2020.
  2. Accounts paid in full by other methods will have the grant automatically applied as a credit to their account at the beginning of 2021 and prior to the issue of that year’s rate bill.
  3. Where requested in writing, the Council will facilitate the application of the grant in 2020.

       Amended - 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.
  3. The commercial rates for 2020, 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 November, 2020.
  4. Where the condition at number 3 above is not possible due to the impact of COVID 19, an agreement to pay must be entered into on or before the 1st November, 2020.  Due to the very exceptional circumstances, an agreement to pay the arrears and the 2020 rates over a longer period will be considered.  In accordance with the agreement, the agreed initial payment must be paid before the end of 2020.  In addition, payment of the initial instalments must commence before the end of 2020.
  5. Agreements to pay require the ratepayer to sign up for direct debit payments on or before the 1st November, 2020.  In very exceptional circumstances other payment methods may be accepted.
  6. Occupiers currently on or newly signed up to direct debit payments are deemed to have an agreement to pay 2020 rates and arrears, if any, over an agreed longer period. Application of the grant will be made to eligible ratepayers that have adhered to their direct debit arrangement by adjusting their final direct debit payment in November/December 2020.
  7. 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.
  8. Where occupancy of a property is transferred during 2020 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.
  9. The scheme shall apply for the period 1st January to 31st December, 2020
  10. 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.

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