Wednesday, 20 May 2020
Department of Housing, Planning, and Local Government
1323. To ask the Minister for Housing, Planning, and Local Government the chief executives of local authorities he has engaged with regarding the issue of rates and reimbursements of rates freeze in each local authority; and the outcome of each engagement. [5724/20]
The levying and collection of rates are legally matters for each individual local authority. Local authorities are under a statutory obligation to levy rates on any property used for commercial purposes.
In order to support the local government sector, my Department is continuing to keep local authority income, expenditure and cash flow generally under review and will continue to work with all local authorities on both collective and individual issues arising.
My Department wrote to the Chief Executive of each local authority on both 24 March 2020 and 2 May 2020 in relation to commercial rates alleviation measures in response to COVID-19.
Engagement with the City and County Management Association (CCMA) has been critical in formulating the measures taken to date, specifically the initial deferral of rates and the subsequent 3 month waiver for businesses forced to close. The CCMA has engaged proactively with my Department to assess the potential financial cost of the impact of COVID-19 in terms of commercial rates. Most recently my Department has had on-line meetings with representatives of the CCMA on 21 April, 6 May, 8 May, 12 May and 13 May in respect of the matter.