Carlow County Council reduce rates refund to 70% for vacant businesses over €6,000

'The carrot has been there long enough and this measure is effectively now the stick...'

Darren Hassett

Reporter:

Darren Hassett

Email:

news@carlowlive.ie

Carlow Carlow Carlow

The decision was made as part of Budget 2019 which was passed this week

Carlow County Council and its members have agreed to reduce the rateable refund to 70% for vacant businesses over €6,000. 

For the last number of years anyone with a vacant business property in Carlow didn't pay rates and were entitled to a 100% refund but last year councillors decided to reduce that refund to 95%. 

This meant anyone with a vacant property paid 5% of the rates they would have to pay if the building was open. 

The initiative was to encourage people with empty businesses to try and do something with them whether that was get it open, sell it or rent it. 

On Tuesday, Budget 2019 for the local authority was adopted by members and they agreed to reduce the refund to 70% - which means an owner of a vacant property would now pay 30% of the rates they would have to pay if the building was open. 

However, it's only for businesses who would have a rate bill of over €6,000.

Cathaoirleach of Carlow County Council, Cllr Brian O'Donoghue, said: "The Council have taken the decision to reduce the rateable refund to 70% for businesses over €6,000. 

"For years there have been shop front grants and different incentives to try encourage people not to sit on vacant premises which make our towns and villages look ba,  but also these places still have the street lights switched on outside and still have the availability of other services and yet are not contributing to paying for these services.

"The carrot has been there long enough and this measure is effectively now the stick."