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Introduction

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, as referred to at the Budget Meeting held on the 8th November 2016, has been approved. The scheme provides for the payment of a grant to eligible businesses equivalent to 4% of their 2016 rates bill subject to a maximum of €400.

This grant will benefit businesses located in the County whose rates account was assessed at €10,000 or less for 2016. 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 December 2017.
  • b)  Accounts paid in full by other methods will have the grant automatically applied as a credit to their account at the beginning of 2018 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 2017.

 

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 2016 must be €10,000 or less.

3. The commercial rates for 2017, 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, 2017. This date applies unless an agreement to pay by year end 2017 is agreed prior to 1st July, 2017.  In very exceptional circumstances, an agreement to pay the arrears only over a longer period may be considered but 2017 rates must be paid in full in 2017.

4. Agreements to pay by year end 2017 require the ratepayer to sign up for direct debit payments prior to the 1stJuly, 2017.  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 2017 rates and arrears, if any, by year end 2017. 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 December 2017.

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 2017,  the assistance  may be availed by the completion of a Section 32 Form by the ratepayer for the relevant period of their ownership 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, 2017.

9. Occupiers qualifying for this Support Grant may also qualify for other Business Supports available from the Council (i.e. the Rates Vacant Property Assistance Scheme 2017 , the Occupation of Vacant Commercial Premises Scheme and the Shop Front Improvement Scheme).

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 2017 - 4% 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.

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