Town vows to fight change to commercial rates

A Cork town has vowed to fight realignment of county-wide commercial rates.

Businesses in Mallow could face an increase of almost 30% if the town council is abolished next year.

Environment minister Phil Hogan’s revamp of local government will spell the end to town councils throughout the country.

In Co Cork , 12 town council are set to be abolished and commercial rates, based on a property’s valuation, will be determined by Cork Co Council.

Currently, Mallow has the lowest commercial rate in the county at €57.88 for every euro of rateable value, while the county council’s general rate is €74.75.

Mallow Chamber president Mary Kelly said low rates brought new business to the town.

“This policy has been proven to be quite successful over the past few years, with Carphone Warehouse, Costa Coffee, Applegreen, and Boots deciding to open their doors in the town,” said Ms Kelly.

She predicted a significant rise in the town’s rates could prove “the final nail in the coffin for many businesses, who are still finding trading conditions difficult”.

“Any potential increase in rates after the abolition of the town council and the subsequent takeover by Cork County Council is understandably having a massive effect on our members, who are extremely worried about the knock on financial impact this will have,” she said.

Mallow Chamber wants a meeting with Cork county manager Martin Riordan.

Chambers Ireland have also offered the organisation support.

Chambers chief executive Ian Talbot said there is major concern amongst businesses that commercial rates in many town council areas will be raised to match current county rates.

“To protect our town centres, many of which are already struggling, we urge the Government to bring the rates in line by using the savings arising [from the abolition of town councils] to reduce the higher county rate rather than increase the lower rate,” said Mr Talbot.

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