Kilkenny businesses ‘crippled’ by rate hikes of up to 400%: Deputy Aylward
SMALL businesses in Kilkenny are being “crippled” by commercial rate hikes of up to 400%.
And many local business owners have indicated they will be forced to close if the rates keep on climbing, Kilkenny TD Bobby Aylward told the Dáil.
Deputy Aylward said: “I have correspondence from numerous small businesses in Carlow and Kilkenny which are being crippled by 300% and 400% increases in rates following a review carried out last year.
“Some of the business owners I spoke to will have to close if the rates keep rising.”
The Fianna Fáil TD said his party introduced a Bill in the Dáil proposing that the level of increase for an individual business be capped. Under the proposed legislation, rate increases would be “staggered” at the discretion of the local authority over a five-year period.
“This would mean increases are limited and spread over time rather than the current system which involves a single large increase,” Deputy Aylward added.
The Kilkenny TD said there is “a clear need” for a formal appeals mechanism for businesses to be able to approach their local authority to restructure debt payments on the basis of inability to pay.
He also urged the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government Eoghan Murphy, who has responsibility for commercial rates legislation, to consider a choice of direct debit payments rather than two tranches of payments to help struggling businesses to cope with “cashflow issues”.